Tamil Nadu’s ruling party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, on Sunday said that it could work together with the Bharatiya Janata Party “like a double-barreled gun”, and claimed that “no one can sever ties” between the two parties.

“Whatever be the number of protests and demonstrations, no one can sever the ties between the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the BJP,” the party said in its mouthpiece Namadhu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, in a reference to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s protests on the Cauvery dispute, PTI reported. The AIADMK claimed that the protests by the DMK and its allies were only aimed at damaging the camaraderie between the parties ruling the state and the Centre.

“The state and the central regimes led by the AIADMK and the BJP are working responsibly and are headed towards a final resolution of the matter,” the mouthpiece said about the Cauvery problem. It said the DMK was indulging in “unnecessary” protests, because it was afraid that the efforts of the state and Centre would succeed.

The comments came two weeks after the Budget Session in Parliament was washed out because of protests against the government by Opposition parties, including the AIADMK. The party’s MPs were demanding that the Centre set up the Cauvery water management board as ordered by the Supreme Court on February 16. The court’s deadline expired in March, after which the Tamil Nadu government filed a contempt plea against the Centre at the Supreme Court. The AIADMK members also held a hunger strike.

The AIADMK mocked the DMK for trying to secure an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to talk about the Cauvery crisis. The party claimed it had allowed demonstrations with black flags respecting democratic ethos, but questioned whether the DMK was able to show a “single black flag” to Modi.

Party leaders deny alliance plan

However, on Monday, AIADMK leaders D Jayakumar and M Thambidurai sought to downplay the statements made in the party mouthpiece, saying that the party high command will decide on an alliance with the BJP before the 2019 General Elections, PTI reported.

“This is not the right time,” Jayakumar said. “Only during election, alliances are decided. Only the party decides about that, not an individual columnist.” He added that the party would oppose the BJP if it went against Tamil Nadu’s interests.

Thambidurai said there was no political pact between the AIADMK and the BJP yet. “We are functioning as a separate party in Parliament and there is no alliance so far,” he said. “Only the party high command will decide about alliance during polls.”

Jayakumar is the state fisheries minister, and Thambidurai is the deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha.