Pointing out that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was looking forward to strengthen the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that they cherished their old friends and were open to alliances.
The Prime Minister’s remarks came during his interaction with booth level BJP workers of five parliamentary constituencies of Arakkonam, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Erode and Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu.
“Strong NDA [National Democratic Alliance] is an article of faith for us. It is not a compulsion. Even when the BJP won a majority on its own, we preferred to run the government with our allies. We cherish our old friends and our doors are always open for parties. But more than political issues, the winning alliance is the alliance of the people,” he said.
“20 years ago the visionary leader Atalji brought in a new culture in Indian politics, that of successful coalition politics. He gave utmost importance to regional aspirations…BJP has followed the way Atalji has shown us,” he said.
Modi recalled the “successful coalition politics” ushered in by former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the 1990s and said the BJP”s doors were “always open”. PM Modi was asked by one BJP worker if the party will ally with AIADMK, DMK or Rajinikanth, yet to form his political party.
He also took an opportunity to hit out at the Congress for “ill-treating” regional parties. “What Atalji did was in direct contrast to the Congress which has never cared for regional aspirations. Congress ill-treated regional political parties, aspirations and people because they felt they alone have the right to be in power,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had fought the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, leading a rainbow alliance comprising smaller parties including PMK, MDMK of Vaiko, won two of the 39 seats: one each by the party and PMK.