"BJP has followed Atalji in giving utmost importance to regional aspirations," PM Modi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday said the BJP was open to alliances and cherished its old friends, in a hint that it was looking to strengthen the NDA in Tamil Nadu ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
While interacting with BJP's booth-level workers from five districts in Tamil Nadu through video-conferencing, PM 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.
"Twenty years ago, 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.
PM Modi 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 BJP had fought the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu leading a rainbow alliance comprising smaller parties including PMK, MDMK of Vaiko and won two of the 39 seats — one each by the party and PMK.