Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement came amid reports that the BJP is eyeing an alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
Chennai: Months ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that
the Bharatiya Janata Party is open to alliances, hinting that the party was looking to strengthen the
NDA in Tamil Nadu. The PM’s statement came amid reports that the BJP is eyeing an alliance with the All
India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
During an interaction with BJP’s booth-level workers from Tamil Nadu’s five districts through video
conferencing, the PM recalled the “successful coalition politics” brought in by former PM late Atal
Bihari Vajpayee in the 1990s.
When asked if the BJP would join hands with the AIADMK, the DMK or Tamil superstar Rajinikanth (who is
yet to form his political party), the PM said: “…20 years ago the 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.”
“Even when the BJP won a majority on its own, we preferred to run the government with our allies. We
cherish our old friends. Doors are always open for all political parties,” added the PM.
It was the PM’s fourth interaction with the BJP workers in the state. In the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections,
the BJP had allied with five smaller parties, including Vaiko-led MDMK, the DMDK, and the PMK. The
alliance had won two seats – one each by the BJP and PMK.
However, all the five parties had cut ties with the BJP later. The PM underlined that a strong NDA was
“an article of faith for us”.
“It is not a compulsion. Even when the BJP won a strong 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,” Modi
He also hit out at the Congress for “ill-treating” regional parties, saying: “What Atal ji 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
The PM also mentioned that connecting with people was the most important thing. “The strongest alliance
is one with common citizens. More than alliances we have to focus on remaining connected with people,”
BJP workers who attended the video-conferencing hailed from Arakkonam, Erode, Cuddalore, Cuddalore,
Krishnagiri, and Dharmapuri.