Reiterates its stand on CAB issue, condemns terrorist attack in Sri Lanka
Kohima, April 24 (EMN): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Nagaland unit on Wednesday defended its party member and Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton on proxy voting allegation against him, saying that there is no proof of him involving in electoral malpractice. The party said the re-poll at 31-Riphyim Old-III polling station is unnecessary.
Opposition party NPF and Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) had accused the deputy CM of voting multiple times during the recently concluded election at 31-Riphyim Old-III polling station but the latter had denied the allegation, saying that he cast his legitimate vote and not as claimed by rival political parties.
BJP Nagaland unit president and minister for Higher and Technical Education, Temjen Imna Along told reporters in Kohima on April 24 that the re-poll based on an unverified viral video was not necessary but welcomed the fresh re-poll.
“The BJP party in Nagaland condemn all the rumours that are going on with regard to his (Patton’s) voting,” said Along. “Yet, we welcome the ECI’s order for a re-poll in that area because that will completely bring the right picture and this whole story would rest,” he added.
The minister called upon the observers to monitor whether the real votes are been cast or not. He claimed that the party has “complete support in that area and we are sure that we will get better votes tomorrow (re-poll) than before.” He also expressed hope that the people will take the re-poll positively and that the ECI had called for it to satisfy the people of the nation and the state.
Re-poll in polling station No. 31, Riphyim Old III will be held today, April 25 from 7am to 4pm. Returning Officer M Patton had earlier ruled out a re-poll stating that there was no discrepancies but the Election Commission of India earlier this week ordered a re-poll following a complaint filed by NPCC.
Along said the “rumours” on social media claiming that the deputy CM had voted eight-nine times is a “blatant lie.”
“What is the conclusion that says that he had pressed the voting button eight-nine times? The questions should be laid to the presiding officer and the people who were present there whether he had pressed multiple times or not. But when they had given clean chit, who are they to say that he had pressed eight-nine times? That is the question of the BJP party, when the presiding officers and Returning Officer had already given a clean chit,” he said.
“We see that they (polling booth officials) have been reading about seven-eight papers or so, but it is not the proof that he had cast for eight-nine people. What is the proof, or how can we say that those papers were taken by him? He has not handed over eight nine papers,” he added.
Along said that the presiding officers and other officers present at the polling booth to monitor malpractices have given Patton a clean chit. He added that the BJP wanted to know the authenticity of the intention of the video and the person who had done it.
“We look at it as a blatant trial to malign the name of the deputy CM and to malign the trust of the people of that polling booth,” he said, adding the party condemn any decision taken due to an unverified post on social media and that “we need a matured society.”
On Patton wearing a BJP scarf inside polling booth, the president said: “If there is any such repercussion caused by him wearing that, we on behalf of the party apologise for it. But it was in no way against anyone or to demean the ECI directive or any other things that are related to the Election Code of Conduct.” He went on to say that it might have happened due to lack of “proper knowledge” but “take responsibility for it. And yes, that should not have been done.”
Along said the party would clarify with the ECI on the claims of Patton violating the model code of conduct. He also asked the Congress and NPF not to try to score political brownie points on something that has no authenticity. Without knowing proper facts and figures, propaganda should not be used as an election asset to score points against each other, he added.
On Citizenship Amendment Bill
The BJP president also reiterated the party’s stand on CAB issue, saying: “We stand opposed to it in its present form and knowing very well our central leaders have time and again said that it shall be implemented only with the consultations of its state government.”
He assured to speak to the leaders at the centre to ensure that the rights of the indigenous people of Nagaland are protected at any cost. He added that Nagas are already protected by the 16 Point Agreement and Article 371A.
On uniform civil code, he said it is still in drafting stage. ‘We’ll see that the concerns of every citizen of this country are taken and implemented in such a way that it doesn’t affect their identity and protect the minorities,’ he said.
BJP condemns terror attack
The state unit of BJP has strongly condemned the “blatant murder” that happened in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more 359 people and injuring hundreds of others.
Along said that the BJP party pray for peace in Sri Lanka and for its people. ‘We will stand together with them at this hour of grief,’ he added.