CHENNAI: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the BJP's doors were always open for alliance partners, both Dravidian parties responded with caution on Friday. While Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami made a cryptic remark that AIADMK would support only those who do good to the people of Tamil Nadu, DMK president MK Stalin denied the possibility of such an alliance.
"We will not accept those who betray Tamil Nadu. We will continue to march on the path shown by late leaders MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa," said the Chief Minister at an event to induct about 1,400 cadre from other various other parties, including AMMK, into the AIADMK fold.
Palaniswami had so far maintained that his party would draw its alliance strategy only after the announcement of Lok Sabha elections. Now that the general polls are nearing, his remark indicates that the party's alliance moves are gaining momentum. Though there had been speculations of AIADMK and BJP coming together, there was no concrete word from leaders of either party.
Second-rung leaders of both parties, meanwhile, were criticising each other on vital issues such as Mekedatu and Mullaperiyar among others. But a few days ago, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan held separate meetings with Palaniswami.
Stalin, meanwhile, did not mince his words and mocked the Prime Minister for having compared himself to Vajpayee. "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," Modi had said on Thursday.
Reacting to it, Stalin said: "The DMK will never align with BJP... Prime Minister Modi is not Vajpayee. An alliance under him is not a healthy alliance. It is an irony that Modi compares himself with Vajpayee." The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Madurai to lay foundation stone for AIIMS hospital and address a massive rally there.
Palaniswami mocked at Stalin's 'grama sabha meetings'. "When in power, Stalin did not visit villages. But now that he's out of power, he has 'invented' that politics begins at village level (sic)" the Chief Minister said. He also said that there were efforts to create an illusion that the AIADMK government was deferring elections to the local bodies. "In fact, steps were taken to conduct the local body elections even when Amma (J Jayalalithaa) was alive. Only because of the cases filed by DMK, these elections are getting delayed," he added.