DMK chief MK Stalin on Friday snubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest indication to forge an alliance with regional parties in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. During his interaction with booth level BJP workers of five parliamentary constituencies of Arakkonam, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Erode and Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu, Modi on Friday said that the BJP’s doors were open for an alliance in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai on Friday, Stalin made it clear that his party will never enter an agreement with the BJP, adding that “Modi is not Atal Bihari Vajpayee”.
“Alliance under him (Modi) is not a healthy alliance. It is an irony that PM Modi compares himself with Vajpayee,” he said.
Addressing party workers, Modi had batted for a strong NDA and said that the BJP cherished old friends and its doors were always open for parties. “Strong NDA is an article of faith for us. It is not a compulsion. Even when the BJP won a 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. But more than political issues, the winning alliance is the alliance of the people,” Modi had said.
Responding to the PM’s statement, Stalin reiterated his endorsement of the candidature of Congress president Rahul Gandhi for prime ministership. He said that the opposition parties should come together and contest the elections under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
Stalin had last month voiced support to Rahul for the top role. At an event to inaugurate late DMK president Karunanidhi’s statue in Chennai, he had made a strong pitch for Rahul as the Opposition’s prime ministerial nominee. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul were also present on the occasion.
The development is crucial because only two parties TDP of Chandrababu Naidu and DMK have so far extended their support to Grand Alliance led by Rahul Gandhi. Although all the opposition parties have been calling for an alliance of non-BJP parties, leaders like TMC’s Mamta Banerjee and BSP’s Mayawati have expressed reservation over the Congress president’s leadership.
BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister has already announced that he will not join the Grand Alliance and enter the fray alone. Though SP and BSP are extending support to the Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to go it past halfway mark, the two players from Uttar Pradesh are likely to go ahead with an alliance sans the Congress. In Uttar Pradesh, the BSP and SP have snubbed the Congress and are said to have reached a consensus on seat sharing. An announcement on this is likely tomorrow when Akhilesh and Mayawati address a joint presser in Lucknow.