It is amusing that the ACAUT, an un-mandated organisation with a few busy-bodies spearheading its supposedly social crusade with the grandiose and utopian aim to cure the society of all social ills in a matter of months, has posed a challenge for public debate on corruption. To organise such an event is not new at all to the ACAUT since the Common Platform on Naga Issue organised by it on September 12, 2015, turned out to be a huge flop and a slap on its face with all mass-based civil societies boycotting it, and the turn out at the Platform was embarrassing since only a handful made it and pictures of empty chairs were acutely pitiful.
ACAUT members should understand that the NPF does not defend or condone any kind of corruption in the system. But the deep-rooted corruption in the society is all-pervading and needs concerted efforts of everyone to eradicate it. This cannot be done in a short period of time, and we cannot expect miracles to happen right in front of our eyes. However, providing good governance to the people being the professed and avowed stand of the NPF-led DAN Government, the President and Chief Minister, in several closed door meetings with senior party functionaries and party legislators, have warned of stern action against those involved in corrupt practices saying he shall not hesitate to show Red Card against defaulters.
ACAUT has been grossly off the mark when it alleged there are Press Secretaries to the Chief Minister drawing Government salaries and working in the Media & Press Bureau of the NPF Central Office. The Bureau has sincere and dedicated party functionaries who voluntarily render their services to the party and the people without expecting or drawing any pecuniary benefits from the Government. The Press Secretary or Media Officers to the Chief Minister are appointed on a co-terminus basis, and it is the discretion of any Chief Minister to appoint persons of his choice and no procedural lapses are involved in these appointments.
Moreover, those attached to the Chief Minister need not necessarily mean they are manning the Media & Press Bureau of the party, and/ or even if they are involved in the functioning of the party affairs it is nothing out of the ordinary since they are political appointees.
As for declaration of assets, ACAUT leaders would do well to remember that every contesting candidate to the Assembly elections declare their property/ assets, moveable or immovable, on affidavit papers before the Election Commission and which are displayed for public consumption. It would also do well if they remember the adage that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones on others, and stop making utterances and allegations lest the dirt under the carpets at their homes are exposed, whereby, they themselves would be made to look like the proverbial foolish Emperor they mentioned. In such an event, it would be much louder than the cacophony apparently ringing in their ears presently.
Moreover, it would be in the interest of everyone if the ACAUT can get their facts and figures right before shooting off their mouth. The population of Nagaland, according to 2011 Census, stands at 19,78,502, and it is a wonder how or from where it came up with the population as “not more than 12 lakhs.”
Media & Press Bureau,
NPF Central Office, Kohima