Asserting that it would never strike an electoral pact with the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the DMK Friday mocked him for "comparing" himself with late leader A.B. Vajpayee.
A day after the Prime Minister said his party cherised its old friends, seeking to rope in outfits for the NDA, DMK chief M K Stalin said people would not forget that it was under Modi's rule that Tamil Nadu's rights were "snatched away," something unseen before.
"I would like to make it categorical again that DMK will never forge an alliance with the BJP-led by Narendra Modi," he said and hit out at Modi for not doing anything to strengthen India's integrity.
Flaying the Prime Minister for allegedly treating with disdain values like secularism, social justice and federalism in his rule, Stalin said,"Modi is not Vajpayee."
Crediting Vajpayee with stitching together a "healthy alliance," during his times, the DMK leader said, however, the NDA under the incumbent Prime Minister is not so.
Accusing the Prime Minister of not guarding "pluralism," Stalin said it was "strange and comical that Modi was comparing himself with Vajpayee."
Stalin recalled that Vajpayee was described as "the right person in the wrong party," by late party patriarch M. Karunanidhi.
Under Vajpayee the agenda for governance was "not divisive," he said adding his party had joined the NDA (in 1999) under the late leader only for a stable government to ensure growth.
Reacting to Stalin, BJP Tamil Nadu unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said she does not understand why the DMK leader was interpreting Modi's remarks as an invite to his party.
Speaking to reporters at Delhi, she wondered why the DMK, which has a tie up with Congress and having proposed Rahul Gandhi as their pick for the Prime Minister's post should feel that their party was invited.
The Prime Minister had only said that Vajpayee had shown the party the way for building successful coalitions.
Also, Modi had said that the strongest alliance is one with the people and more than "alliances we have to focus on remaining connected with people," she pointed out.
Like the celebrated leader Vajpayee, "Modi is a strong leader," she said adding "I don't know why DMK is reacting as if they were invited.. we know with whom we will go in for an alliance and we have already said we will forge ties with like-minded parties...there is enough time."
While the Prime Minister showed civility in his remarks on coalition, she said she doubted if Stalin had it since he had reacted to the interaction her party leader had with their party workers.
In an interaction with the party's booth-level workers from five districts in Tamil Nadu on Thursday Modi spoke about Vajpayee's successful bids at building strong coalitions.
"20 years ago the visionary leader Atalji brought in a new culture in Indian politics...he gave utmost importance to regional aspirations. BJP has followed the way Atalji has shown us," Modi had said.