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CBCD clean chit to Chang

Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and NPF president, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu addressing a press conference. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, APR 14 (NPN):
Published on 15 Apr. 2009 1:51 AM IST
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Amidst the controversy over the allegations of polygamous life of the DAN’s consensus candidate for the Lok Sabha, CM Chang, the Chang Baptist Church Dimapur (CBCD) had given a clean chit stating that he was presently living with a single wife and an active member of the Church. This was disclosed to the media by NPF president, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu and chief minister Neiphiu Rio through a copy of the Church certificate shown to media persons at a press conference at the NPF central office here Tuesday. The certificate from the Chang Baptist Church, Dimapur signed by Pastor C.W. Chingmak dated April 14 certified that CM Chang son of Chongshen was an active member of the Church under membership register No.CBCD/MR.80 and that he was presently living with a single wife. It also stated that he was baptized on January 30, 1951 by missionary S. Onen Ao at Noksen village. The Church in its certificate also stated that in keeping the principle of the sanctity of the Church, CM Chang was excommunicated from the Church membership earlier on June 13, 1994 for having extra marital affair with another woman. However, his Church membership was reinstated on December 29, 1999 after he confessed to his mistakes and reaffirmed commitment to uphold Christian principle and to maintain the sanctity of the church. Meanwhile, Dr. Shurhozelie clarified the NPF’s stand that it cannot accept polygamy. He also reiterated that the NPF party had gone through all the past record of CM Chang before the party ticket was issued to him. The NPF president recalled the clarification he issued on the same issue at the launching of the DAN campaign earlier at Mon where he had said that certain sections of the Nagas accepted and practiced polygamy. He however stated that it was a thing of the past and that it cannot be accepted today. Dr. Shurhozelie regretted the Churches’ statements against the state chief minister, Neiphiu Rio over the issue of polygamy which appeared in a section of the local media and described it as “wrong interpretation and sign of immaturity.” He also said the “Church is a little bit in a hurry,” and felt the church should have verified the matter first before coming out openly. He pointed out that the Naga society was a close knitted society where everyone knew who was who and urged the Church to be more careful on such serious matters in the future. On the other hand, Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio reiterated that he was misquoted and denied, he or the party having said that polygamy was accepted in the society. He claimed he only said that “nobody can deny that such practice is still followed by certain sections of our society however we do not support it nor are we promoting it since we are all aware that it is against Christian preaching.” He also alleged that the Congress had taken electioneering to the lowest ebb in the history. He alleged that at no time in the past, any party or individual had resorted to such unethical campaign strategy by making personalized attacks aimed at character assassination deviating from the model code of conduct. Flashing out a copy of the Model Code of Conduct, Rio pointed out the guidelines 2 and 5 of the model code of conduct which clearly gave the dividing of making criticism to other political parties or candidate. The guidelines stated that, “Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspect of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties” and that “the right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home-life shall be respected, however much the political parties or candidates may resent his political opinions or activities.” Rio also stated that the nomination of CM Chang as the DAN’s candidate was ‘purely political,’ based on his capabilities and vast experience and nothing to do with his personal life.

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