Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani on Monday said the six-party alliance formed by his party in Tamil Nadu has changed the battlescape, with people seeing it as the “principal combatant” in the electoral contest, otherwise dominated by DMK and AIADMK.

Addressing his first and only election rally in the state for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Advani said, “I am extremely glad to find that the situation has basically changed.”

The rainbow alliance led by BJP and its leader Narendra Modi had come to be regarded by many people as the “principal combatant in this particular battle”, he said.

He hailed the performance of BJP governments headed by Mr. Modi in Gujarat and Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh.

Earlier, speaking to reporters at Chennai airport en-route here, Mr. Advani denied allegations that BJP did not show interest in addressing Tamil Nadu’s problems such as water shortage including from the Cuavery dispute perspective.

“Never ever was there any complaint that the Vajpayee Government at the Centre had neglected the problems of Tamil Nadu or any other state of the south. In fact, one of the important issues that we took up for which we formed a task force was the interlinking of rivers,” the former deputy prime minister said.

BJP had “duly considered” the Cauvery issue, he said in an apparent reference to Jayalalithaa’s criticism that the saffron party was no different from Congress on the vexed issue of the inter-state dispute with Karnataka.