Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin on Friday ruled out an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu ahead of the Lok Sabha elections this year. His statement follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that the saffron party is open to alliances with regional political outfits.

Stalin said Modi has ignored Tamil Nadu’s interests. “I categorically state that the DMK will not ally with the Narendra Modi-led BJP, which has been governing the country without giving due consideration to ideas like secularism, social justice, equality, alliance dharma, federal rights,” The News Minute quoted Stalin as saying.

He criticised Modi for comparing himself with late BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “It is amusing that the man who did all this is comparing himself with Vajpayee, who was praised by our leader Kalaignar [M Karunanidhi] as ‘the right man in the wrong party’,” Stalin said.

The DMK chief accused the prime minister of compelling “independent bodies to toe his line”.

On December 16, Stalin had pitched Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the united Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 general election. After other Opposition leaders objected to it, Stalin had defended his stance and said the decision will be taken after the Lok Sabha elections.

The DMK had allied with the BJP ahead of the 1999 Lok Sabha elections. “DMK had allied with the NDA during Vajpayee’s rule with an aim of providing a stable government for the development of the country,” Stalin said.

“Modi is not someone who is in the Prime Minister’s chair to preserve the multi-cultural identities of India,” Stalin said. “The people of Tamil Nadu will never forget that Tamil Nadu’s rights were denied in Narendra Modi’s tenure like never before.”