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Luck, faux pas: Patton should draw his lessons

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI, MAY 20: The propensity to go on and on ~ right or wrong ~ is a peculiar characteristic known to the Indian neta class.
Over the decades, some Naga leaders have cultivated the same.
BJP floor leader and Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton has lately walked himself into this trap.
This trapping is his own creation ~ more out of anger.
It may not be a proper call to defend him but some of his observations have ‘takers’ both in Delhi and in the State of Nagaland as well.
Extortion has been a major menace faced by the people for the last three decades now. Other threats and intimidations have made people frustrated and some anguish get reflected in the words and statements of political leaders of all categories and parties.
On many occasions, new NPF legislature party leader Kuzholuzo Azo Nienu also stated that the Naga public are fed up with extortion and other threats. But the phrase ‘Go to hell’ could not be taken very lightly and may even have some ‘negative impact’ on the BJP.
As a BJP leader Patton should have been more than cautious when he tried to focus his wordings around the peripheries of ‘heaven and hell’. Nagas are religious and these words have Biblical implications. Moreover, in any religion or society following any social rule of law, no individual has the mandate to pass such adverse strictures or whether somebody should go to ‘hell or heaven’.
This statement would in no way help Patton push up BJP’s cause ~ something he is seriously trying.
In another instance of tongue-in-cheek statement he has flagged off the menacing issue of tribalism.
In this context, the Chakhesang Students’ Union has reacted angrily. It says Patton’s remarks that Chakhesang community is more advanced than Aos, Lothas and Semas was “careless and irresponsible”.
More debate is expected on these issues. But in no way Patton has again helped his party’s cause.
Until recently, he has been playing his cards and politics well. In fact, he is the only BJP leader who has been flamboyant, firm and aggressively assertive at times taking on Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio as well.
His ‘snub’ to Rio by rejecting the portfolio of Land Resources spoke well of Patton’ grasp of things. It was seen as a matured way of handling things.
But the last two statements were unwarranted and do not go well for a leader who wants to see the BJP flags go up in the hills and mountains of Nagaland.
Now we come to the next stage.
The only person who is smiling seeing Patton’s faux pas is Chief Minister Rio. Temjen Imna Along as State BJP chief had earlier blundered by taking Amit Shah’s name on the floor of the Assembly. And now Patton’s undesirable remarks.
The weakening of BJP in Nagaland due to whatever reasons actually has no impact on Congress or even NPF in the State. The peculiarity of Nagaland politics is such that it is directly helping Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
The NDPP camp thus lost no time in latching on to Patton’s remarks and the video is obviously viral. The NDPP leadership now unhesitatingly would tell BJP central leaders ~ who is more matured ~ your two State leaders or our gentleman-neta called Neiphiu Rio.
The BJP high command would find all these adding to the complexity of the problem it faces in guiding the Nagaland unit.
The saffron party top guns are doing all kinds of consultation to change the State unit leadership. On face value the proposed move for a change is not unusual as the Lotus outfit always effects these changes on the eve of elections.
The lesson from Tripura should serve as some pointers for Nagaland BJP leaders too. That is, in the BJP’s scheme of things ~ change is imminent on the eve of every election. Second important lesson is from the sacking of Biplab Deb as Chief Minister ~ that Lady Luck is crucial but it cannot take one beyond a point.
BJP insiders say Biplab Deb often left the party red-faced. Once Deb while addressing a Civil Services Day function had said, “After pursuing mechanical engineering one should not go for Civil Services. Instead, civil engineers should join Civil Services as they have the knowledge and experience to help build administration and society”.
The charge of incompetence against Deb is not entirely without merit.
Delhi’s journalist circles know Biplab Deb as a shy boy from the Northeast, who actually was working for sometime as an ‘assistant’ to a BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh.
In 2016-17, on the eve of 2018 Assembly polls, Biplab Deb was actually picked by RSS point-man Sunil Deodhar
This was the time when BJP hardly had organisational presence in the Marxists-bastion and hence Deb was chosen as a State unit president. What follows later is history; but it has a few lessons too.