BJP open to al­liances: PM

The Northlines - - FRONT PAGE -

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi said Thurs­day the BJP is open to al­liances and cher­ished its old friends, in a hint that it was look­ing to strengthen the NDA in Tamil Nadu ahead the Lok Sabha elec­tions.

In an in­ter­ac­tion with party booth-level work­ers from five dis­tricts in Tamil Nadu through video con­fer­enc­ing, he 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".

"…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," Modi said.

The prime min­is­ter, in the fourth in­ter­ac­tion with the party work­ers in the state, 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. The prime min­is­ter said 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 said.

Lash­ing out at the Congress for "ill-treat­ing" re­gional par­ties, he said, "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 power," Modi said.

The prime min­is­ter also stressed on the im­por­tance of con­nect­ing with peo­ple, say­ing more than all the po­lit­i­cal is­sues, the win­ning al­liance was an al­liance with the peo­ple.

"The strong­est al­liance is one with com­mon cit­i­zens. More than al­liances we have to fo­cus on re­main­ing con­nected with peo­ple," he said.

BJP work­ers from Arakkonam, Cud­dalore, Kr­ish­na­giri, Erode, Cud­dalore and Dharma­puri took part in the ex­er­cise on Thurs­day. (agen­cies)

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