Chennai: Putting to rest speculations, sparked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hint that the BJP was open to pre-poll alliances in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK said on Friday that it would rather strengthen its own cadre for the forthcoming challenge of Lok Sabha elections than have a truck with the saffron party.
Party’s M Thambidurai said, “It is a joke to say that we will carry the BJP on our back and help them gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu. We will work to strengthen our party, let them work to strengthen theirs.”
Only last week, at an interaction with the BJP’s booth-level workers, PM Modi had said that his party was open to alliances and cherished its old friends.
Addressing workers through video-conferencing, PM Modi recalled the “successful coalition politics” ushered in by party stalwart late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the 1990s and said that the BJP’s doors were “always open”.
“…Twenty years ago, visionary leader Atal ji 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 Atal ji has shown us,” the PM had said.
In his fourth such interaction with the party workers in the state, PM Modi was responding to questions from a worker whether the BJP would ally with the AIADMK, the DMK or Tamil superstar Rajinikanth, who is yet to form his political party.
The BJP had fought the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu leading a six-party alliance comprising smaller parties, including the DMDK, the PMK and Vaiko-led MDMK, and won two of the 39 seats — one each by the saffron party and PMK.
However, all five parties snapped ties with the BJP later.
Days after PM Modi’s words, the Congress’ Tamil Nadu unit took potshots at him, saying there were no takers for his invite. In fact, parties were only walking out of the NDA alliance, Tamil Nadu Congress president Su Thirunavukkarasar said.
“Prime Minister Modi may keep the door open. But no party is prepared to get inside… be it in Tamil Nadu or in the rest of the country, there is no single party which has accepted his invite and joined hands with the BJP,” he told reporters.