NDPP denounces ‘booth capturing’ allegation by Congress as baseless

Chümoukedima, April 16 (MExN): The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) today termed the reported “booth capturing” complaint made by the Indian National Congress (INC) on April 15 to the Chief Election Officer, Nagaland as baseless.

 The NDPP condemned this complaint as it holds “no merit or basis whatsoever,” the party stated in a press release while demanding that the INC “substantiates its allegations with concrete evidence or publicly apologise” for trying to defame the image and name the NDPP and BJP. 

As per the release, the INC filed the complaint to the CEO regarding “reports of NDPP-BJP alliance supporters preparing for booth capturing on the polling day” on April 19 in certain assembly constituencies of the State. 

The NDPP further asserted that it is a political party duly recognised by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and strictly adheres to all the democratic norms as per the laws established. 

The party promotes and supports the conduct of free and fair elections as enshrined under the Constitution of India and will continue to stand for democracy and the process of democratically electing governments, it stated. 

Accordingly, the NDPP declared that it would never undertake any kind of practice that goes against the very fabric of democracy and the conduct of free and fair elections.  Neither the party nor its  supporters would “condone, support or resort to such anti-democratic methods like booth capturing etc," it added.

It also urged to the electorates of Nagaland not to be swayed by such unsubstantiated allegations.

The NDPP also noted that during a nearly one month-long campaign period, there have been opinions, views and comments aired on many platforms directly or indirectly aimed at the NDPP and the PDA. 

However, the party refrained from reacting or responding since we believe and stand for the freedom of speech, thought and expression as enshrined under the Constitution of India, it maintained. 

The NDPP being a political party that is Regional in identity with a global outlook continue to stand steadfast in our commitment to protect the rights and privileges of each and every citizen of Nagaland as enshrined under Article 371(A) and will not compromise our Christian faith and belief, it added.

‘Votes conscientiously and not emotionally’
It further reminded that the electoral battle are contested based on political ideologies and principles and not on religious and communal lines, which is against  the Constitution of India and democracy. 

While Nagaland is fortunate to have three Christian candidates contesting the lone Lok Sabha seat, it is very unfortunate that one of the candidates has been condemned and targeted along with the party on religious lines, it stated. 

To this end, the NDPP asserted that religion knows “no politics or political parties” and is an individual choice and that choice safeguarded by the Constitution of India.

“No one can impose or enforce religion on any individual or individuals or oppose the choices they make,” underscored. 

The NPP also acknowledged that religious persecutions are happening all over the world and more so in India today and the party “always been vocal against such acts of religious intolerance and will continue to oppose such acts in the days and years to come.”

“However, in the present juncture, is it also not a form of religious intolerance/persecution that we are condemning fellow believers in Christ on religious lines?” it posed. 

Accordingly, stating that Nagas are known to be tolerant on many fronts including religion, the party called upon “all fellow believers to love and respect one another as we face yet another election” on April 19. 

It further appealed to the electorates of the State to come out and exercise their universal adult franchises by casting their valuable “votes conscientiously and not emotionally.” 

Expressing grateful for reposing faith on the NDPP-led People’s Democratic Alliance Government during the last assembly elections in 2023, it urged for giving another mandate to Alliance’s consensus candidate Dr Chumben Murry.

NDPP Jangpetkong AC files complaint
Meanwhile, the NDPP 29 Jangpetkong Assembly Constituency(AC) has filed a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer Mokokchung against the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee over  “purported booth capturing” allegation in the Constituency.

Stating that it was “shocked and perturbed by this wild allegation,” the unit reiterated that throughout its campaign trail for the PDA consensus candidate, the party had always “stressed and advocated for free, fair and peaceful polls.”

“We deem the allegation as a well-calculated strategy of the Congress party to vitiate and malign our party, with the malicious intention to gain unfair advantage by creating fear psychosis in the minds of the electorate,” it maintained.

Accordingly, it urged the DC& CEO to notify the NPCC to “produce proof and substantiate their allegation before the polling date.”

Treat this matter with utmost seriousness and urgency and if the NPCC fails to substantiate their allegation, we will be compelled to seek legal remedies, the unit added.