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BJP open to alliances, cherishes old friends: PM

BJP open to alliances, cherishes old friends: PM
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Chennai: 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 of 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".

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