Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday indicated that his party's doors were open to alliances with parties other than its partners in the United Progressive Alliance but said all would depend upon election results.
"The ground rule is 'number'. (The) Magic number, whether individual party or combination of parties, must reach. Therefore, who gets which number is the most relevant, all others are irrelevant," Mukherjee told the NDTV news channel in an interview.
He was replying to a question if his party would be open to an alliance with Janata Dal-United (JD-U) of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is a partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Mukherjee added: "Nitish Kumar, I have never worked with him. I all along found him as a non-Congress man, but as an individual he is fine."
On a similar question about a truck with AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha, whose feelers for an alliance were cold-shouldered by the Congress, he gave broad indications that there were all possibilities after the elections.
"You know, all these years it has taken place, after 1967 onwards, in every election we had some alliance with the Tamil parties," he said.
"When DMK was undivided, we had an alliance with the DMK, after establishment of Anna DMK (AIADMK), we had sometimes with MGR (MG Ramachandran) who is the founder, sometimes with Jayalalitha, sometimes with (M) Karunanidhi," he added.
Mukherjee went on: "This has happened, therefore it's not that. The question is, what you are talking of, that strategy, if somebody has it, that strategy has to be worked out, not aired in public prematurely."