JDU candidate Kitoho S Rotokha (sitting second from right) joins LJP.

Dimapur: In a dramatic event and major jolt to JDU Nagaland ahead of the assembly elections in the state, Kitoho S Rotokha, the JDU candidate for Ghaspani II constituency, quit the party on Friday morning and joined the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) in the evening.

The development comes five days after the JDU declared Rotokha’s candidature in presence of party national president Rajiv Ranjan Lalan Singh, general secretary and in charge of northeast Afaque Ahmed Khan, Rajya Sabha MP Aneel Hegde and Bihar minister Sanjay Kumar besides JDU Nagaland president NSN Lotha here on January 29.

The political drama unfolding in Nagaland on the eve of assembly elections in the state may just be a prologue of many unexpected events to come.

Rotokha joined the LJP in the presence of the party national youth president and northeast in charge Pranab Kumar and other state leaders here.

 Joining the LJP, he said he will not fail the aspirations of the party.

Addressing the media on Friday morning, Rotokha, who was the secretary general of Nagaland JDU Nagaland, said though it was painful, the political circumstances and situation in the state JDU compelled him to quit the party.

He accused state unit president Lotha of acting in an autocratic manner without taking a collective decision.

He said Lotha declared that only the state president and general secretary of the party will be given ticket barring other aspiring candidates from contesting the polls.

“Lotha is working towards the downfall of JDU in Nagaland,” he said.

A statement issued by Rotokha and other former leaders of the party said the state executive bearers of the JDU Nagaland, led by general secretary Imsumongba Pongen, at an emergency meeting on Thursday unanimously resolved to resign en masse from the primary and active membership of the party as they have lost confidence on the state unit president Lotha.

“The president adopting a dictatorial attitude offers no exposure or scope for individual or oganisational growth and has put an end to the hopes and aspirations of the party members. The support and the quality of leadership expected from the president was pitiful,” the statement read.

However, a statement issued by JDU national general secretary Khan on Friday said  the JDU has expelled Rotokha and condemned his anti-party activities. Appropriate action will be taken against him for tarnishing the good image of the JDU in Nagaland, it said.

The statement said the state executive party meeting was unauthorised and not headed by general secretary Pongen as he is very much part of JDU Nagaland. It said other than Rotokha, the other so-called state executives do not have the approval of the JDU national office and their appointments are therefore are invalid and can be termed as bogus.

It also said state party president Lotha has unflinching support and blessings of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and party national president Singh.

“This very confidence of the party high command is absolute and no vested interest can destroy the faith reposed upon Lotha by the party high command,” it added.

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