Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his Bharatiya Janata Party is open to partnering with other political outfits ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported. He described the Congress as arrogant and claimed the Opposition party had ill-treated regional political parties.

Modi made the statement while answering queries from party-level workers in Tamil Nadu via video conferencing. A party worker had asked him if the saffron party would ally with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth in the state. The actor is yet to form a political party.

The BJP had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu with five political outfits, including the AIAMDK, the Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, all of whom severed ties with it eventually.

“Even when the BJP won a strong majority on its own, we preferred to run the government with our allies,” Modi said. “We cherish our old friends and our doors are always open for parties.”

The Congress, Modi said, feels entitled to be in power alone. “Even today when Congress does not find a place in the alliance in Uttar Pradesh, their leaders are back to their arrogance and say we will surprise everyone,” Modi said.

The remark was an apparent reference to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s claim on Tuesday that his party has the ability to surprise people in Uttar Pradesh during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. To underestimate the Congress in the state is a “big mistake”, Gandhi had said, days after the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party seemed to have ignored the party while allying for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.