The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has managed the entry of one more ally — the Ladakh Union Territory Front (LUTF) — into the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fold.
The LUTF, which stands for grant of Union Territory status to the Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir, had won the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat in 2004 after it was formed on the eve of the last Lok Sabha elections through an unprecedented exercise.
It involved voluntary dissolution of all the local units of the political parties, which then had amalgamated into the LUTF. Its candidate, Thupstan Chewwang, who was elected as an independent, had supported the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on crucial nuclear deal in the Lok Sabha.
The LUTF is a powerful political amalgam that controls the twin autonomous Hill councils of the region. It has also managed to bring to end the intra-regional and communal divide among the Buddhist and Muslims of the frontier province and shifting the focus to developmental agenda.
The decision to back the NDA was taken at a meeting of LUTF in Leh, in which a resolution to this effect was passed on Thursday. The resolution was circulated by the BJP at its headquarters here today.
With the entry of LUFT, the NDA has become a 12-member pre-poll alliance. Besides the BJP, its other constituents are the Shiromani Akali Dal, Indian National Lok Dal, Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Lok Dal, Asom Gana Parishad, Shiv Sena, Nagaland Peoples’ Front, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal and Uttarakhand Kamtapur Progressive Party.
The LUTF resolution says that the UPA had failed to fulfill all the promises it made to Chewwang in lieu for his support to the government on the Nuclear deal. It also praises the NDA for having ushered in a lot of development in the frontier region in its tenure.
The LUFT has fielded Thilness Angmo, a local advocate, for the Lok Sabha election against Congress candidate on behlaf of the ruling coalition of Congress and National Conference.