Lok Dal rejoins NDA ahead of Lok Sabha polls (Lead)

October 12th, 2008 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) Ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) of Om Prakash Chautala Sunday decided to return to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).BJP president Rajnath Singh and the party’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani welcomed the decision of INLD, which was a part of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) till a few months ago.

“We have ideological differences with the Congress. Besides NDA, there is no option against the Congress, so we have decided to join them,” Chautala said at a joint press conference with Singh here.

Singh said: “I had said two months ago that the number (of allies) will increase. Today the process has started. We welcome the INLD’s decision of returning to the NDA.

“The last few state elections have shown that the people are again showing interest in the BJP. Even political parties have shown interest in our party. If any alliance cares for the farmers and rural area, it is the NDA,” Singh added.

Chautala also expressed his faith in Advani’s leadership.

Advani said: “I welcome Chautala, who has been part of NDA, and has again decided to be part of NDA.”

However, the two parties did not comment on seat-sharing in Haryana.

Both Singh and Advani thanked Chautala for his role in forging the alliance and recalled his unconditional support to the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 1998 and 2004.

The BJP also at the possibility of more parties joining the NDA in the days to come.

“I recently went to Guwahati and Shillong in the northeast for a series of rallies. I also met leaders of Asom Gana Parishad and I feel this time the northeast area will yield good results for us,” Advani said.

He said people had seen the rule of the NDA and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and now they would decide whom to support.

Asked about future of alliance, Singh said: “INLD is an uncompromising anti-Congress force and it is a natural alliance.”

Asked about the UNPA Third Front, formed as an alternative to the NDA and UPA, Chautala said: “We tried to explore the possibility. We tried our best but were not successful.

“In 1998, I had extended support to (BJP leader and then prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee without any conditions. Today in 2008, I don’t see any one beside Advani who is strong (contender of the post),” Chautala added.

The two parties also vowed to join hands to mobilize people against the UPA government at the centre and Haryana’s Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

“Our joint campaign will highlight the anti-people, anti-farmer and corrupt record of the two governments, their multiple betrayals, and especially the Congress leadership’s failure to contain the unprecedented price rise and its unwillingness to fight terrorism due to vote-bank considerations,” a joint statement said.

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