Kohima: Nagaland’s main opposition party—Naga People’s Front (NPF)—on Monday said that deputy chief minister Y Patton’s recent controversial remarks at a local convention that irked citizens, has “sent a very wrong signal” and that it has “discouraged the minds of the youth”.
Social media users recently pointed out Patton’s controversial remark on “manipulating” the Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC) examinations and the use of derogatory term “Miya Jaat” from his speech delivered at the 51st general conference of the Lotha Students’ Union at Marachü Yan, Merapani Village under Wokha district on January 28, after an audio recording and transcript of Patton’s speech circulated.
Reacting to the deputy CM’s use of derogatory terms, National People’s Party (NPP) national executive member and ex-Lok Sabha candidate, Hayithung Bill Lotha criticised Patton as “racist, inhuman, anti-semitic outburst and with a fascist mindset”. The alleged transcription from Patton’s speech of “manipulating” the NPSC examination has also irked the civil service aspirants of the state.
Clarifying his statements, Patton tweeted: “My speech as the Guest of Honour during the recently held 51st LSU Conference at Maratchu (Merapani) where I had spoken in my own dialect is being twisted and misrepresented by my political opponents to score political mileage, especially on the social media, which I pity”.
In a following tweet, he wrote: “Before shifting to 37 A/C, I was contesting from 40 Bhandari A/C for about five elections. So, many people from my tribe and my old supporters approach me for assistance. I was explaining that I am a minister today not only for our tribe but for Nagas as a whole”.
His thread concluded saying: “No comment I made there had any relevance to NPSC. I only stressed NPSC couldn’t be manipulated in a different context, but my intention is being misrepresented. There cannot and shouldn’t be any question on the integrity and autonomy of NPSC members or the process followed”.
Reacting to this, NPF Secretary General Achumbemo Kikon said that Patton’s clarification must be “pondered” and “examined”. Expressing hope that Patton’s clarification is the “truth”, Kikon said that Patton must be very careful with the utterance of his words, as he is the Deputy CM and also runs the affairs of the state.
Terming it as “unfortunate”, Kikon said that such statements “should not be repeated” in the future and that Patton must remember the responsibility of the position he holds.