Barely a month after All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo J Jayalalithaa talked about a national role for her party in the Lok Sabha polls due in 2014, Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani on Saturday described her as a "natural ally," fuelling speculation that both parties could come together ahead of the polls.
"We see in Jayalalithaa a natural ally," Advani said at the 42nd anniversary celebrations of Tamil weekly Thuglaq, edited by noted political commentator Cho S Ramaswamy.
Reaching out to the AIADMK supremo, the BJP veteran said Jayalalithaa and her party have been "functioning as a natural ally," of his party.
"Although AIADMK is not formally a part of the National Democratic Alliance yet, our informal co-operation with Jayalalithaa's party and especially floor co-ordination with it in Parliament has been growing," Advani said in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is known to be close to the AIADMK leader.
Showering praise on Jayalalithaa, Advani said he saw an "atmosphere of rapid change and soaring confidence in Tamil Nadu" after she had won the April 13 assembly elections.
"Today, our country needs more and more transformational leaders like Jayalalithaa and Modi," he said.
Advani's remarks assume significance as recently, Jayalalalithaa had said that the time was ripe for her party to strengthen its position in national politics and "become a power to decide the next prime minister".
Addressing partymen at the AIADMK's general council in December, she had recalled the installation of the NDA government headed by A B Vajpayee in 1998 and said, "Our contribution in that is immeasurable."
The two parties had last faced the 2004 Lok Sabha polls as allies.