Kohima: While welcoming the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision to hold re-polling at Nagaland deputy chief minister Y Patton’s home constituency in Wokha district, the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has condemned any such “decision taken” over a social media video.
Although “there is no need for re-poll”, the BJP state unit welcomed the ECI’s decision for re-poll on April 25 in the hope that the decision was “to satisfy the people of the nation and the state”. Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, BJP state president Temjen Imna Along Longkumer condemned “all rumours” in regard to the video that is making the rounds on social media where Patton is seen entering the polling station wearing a BJP scarf at the Riphyim Old-III polling station under Tyui Assembly constituency in Wokha district on April 11.
Apologising on behalf of the party, Longkumer added: “He [Patton], being the BLP (BJP Legislature Party) leader of the BJP, he had worn it and if there is any such repercussions caused by him wearing that, we, on behalf of the party, apologise for it.” Longkumer then clarified saying: “It was in no way against anyone or to demean the ECI directive or anything related to the election model code of conduct (MCC).”
Reacting to the circulation of the video on social media, Longkumer said “small acts are blown way out of the proportion in our state”. In this regard, he denied the multiple proxies voting against Patton, as accused by the Congress, and condemned Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi for the “blatant lie” without knowing the “facts and figures”. Longkumer mentioned that “the authenticity of the video has to be verified” even as the electoral officials had already given a “clean chit”.
Confirming Patton’s innocence, Longkumer quoted Patton who had said: “I had only exercised my franchise and came” and went on to condemn the allegations made over a social media video by questioning “the intentions” and “authenticity” of the persons who circulated it.
Replying to a question raised by a journalist over reports that the investigation into the FIR against Patton at Wokha police station was stopped, Longkumer denied the accusation. Later, it was revealed that a “counter FIR” was filed in the same police station by the BJP against the Congress, although the subject (content) of the counter FIR was unknown to Longkumer and his spokespersons.
On the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the BJP state unit re-affirmed its stand with CM Neiphiu Rio-led People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) opposing it in its present form. Stating that CAB and Uniform Civil Code (UCC) are “two politicised words”, Longkumer expressed hope that the minorities will be “protected” by any law that will be implemented in the country.