NPF appalled by CM’s attitude in Patton’s case

Kohima, September 21 (MExN): The Opposition Party on Monday said it was appalled by the alleged 'indifferent attitude' of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in the matter of the Nagaland Lokayukta’s probe into Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton’s “infamous remark complaint case” which was recently dismissed.

In a 31-page order signed on September 18, it is learnt that Lokayukta Justice Uma Nath Singh had observed that the Chief Minister “kept a veiled contempt for the rule of law” and disappointingly failed to assist the Lokayukta in a manner befitting his office for reasons best known to him, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) Press Bureau communiqué stated.

The party observed that the Lokayukta implied in his observation that the Chief Minister has failed to rise above ‘petty local politics’ and created an impression that the enquiry has been deliberately delayed to suit some political expediency.

“This order clearly reflects the poor state of affairs in the entire government machinery where the immoral practice of manipulation of the system to the advantage of the people who are at the helm of affairs has reached its zenith,” it claimed.

The NPF recalled that the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government had in August, sought to remove the Nagaland Lokayukta from office by writing to the Supreme Court ‘citing impropriety and abuse of power.’

“...we are convinced that the futile attempt was a pre-emptive effort by the PDA government to oust the Nagaland Lokayukta from his office before he could make these scathing observations in his judgment in the Deputy CM case,” it alleged.

Further, the party said the Lokayukta’s recommendation against the Advocate General of Nagaland KN Balgopal must be taken seriously “because the position of AG is constitutional, not political and as such, whoever holds the said post ought to render his services fairly without any excuses.”

Terming it as a ‘poor reflection’ on the image of the ruling dispensation and how it is even misusing this constitutional post of the AG, the Opposition Party reiterated its call for the PDA government to step down on moral ground if it cannot fulfill the aspirations of the people.