Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarified on Saturday that he had nothing against regional parties and that regional parties had a role to play.
Asked to comment on his earlier critical comments about regional parties in the light of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's attempt to woo them, the prime minister said he had only made “a casual remark”.
He said he had meant to say that when there were too many political parties, “it affects our ability grow fast.
“I do recognise that India is passing through a phase where regional parties are a fact of life. So our system has to come to accept that…”
He pointed out that the Congress in Tamil Nadu had an alliance with a “major regional party, the DMK”.
Manmohan Singh was evasive when he was asked if he could state categorically that the Congress would not forge links with the AIADMK post the Lok Sabha elections.
He answered, “As of now we are fighting this election in the company of DMK.”