O Panneerselvam says his party, AIADMK, is ready for any election (File)
Tamil Nadu's ruling party, the AIADMK, indicated on Monday that they are not averse to being the part of the BJP's plan in the south for the 2019 elections. The party's comment comes after the BJP – which has lost several allies – had said recently that it was looking for new partners, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam – who along with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami took over the party after J Jayalalithaa died in 2016 – was asked about his reaction to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent remark that the BJP cherished its old allies and was open for alliances. "Anything can happen," he quipped, starting a new round of speculation on his party's plan for the Lok Sabha election.
The AIADMK will form an "appropriate alliance, mega alliance and one that is liked by the people," he said at Madurai, adding that his party was ready for every election, "be it be it parliamentary or local body."
Meanwhile, the BJP's state unit chief Tamilisai Soundarajan said on Monday that her party is open toan alliance with any party, except the members of the DMK-Congress block.
The two main blocks of the polity, the BJP and the Congress, are trying to forge respective alliances with regional parties for the elections due by May.
The BJP lost N Chandrababu Naidu's TDP, Mehbooba Mufti's PDP and Upendra Kushwaha's party as allies last year.
In Chandrababu Naidu, the BJP lost a major alliance in Andhra Pradesh last year. Mr Naidu is now at the forefront of the talks for a pan-India, anti-BJP alliance of regional parties and the Congress.
The Congress, meanwhile, was snubbed by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, where it will now field candidates in all 80 Lok Sabha constituencies. The rift in the proposed opposition alliance surfaced when its president Rahul Gandhi's name was proposed as the prime ministerial face.
With inputs from PTI