Washington: National interest today demands that Congress and BJP seriously think of forming a coalition government based on a common minimum programme after the next general elections, filmstar-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha has said.

Asserting that his vision of a joint BJP-Congress  government fits into the ‘India First’ concept of his party’s  prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, the BJP MP said such a decision by the leaders of the two parties would result in a strong and stable national government, which is the need of the hour.

It would prevent any blackmailing tactics from regional players and smaller parties in the event of a fractured mandate after next year’s general elections, he said.

On a weekend-trip to Washington, the 67-year-old BJP leader said he was speaking as a conscious citizen and as an artist for whom the nation is first and is on top of all other priorities.

“This is certainly not my party’s view. But I hope, wish and pray that one day it becomes my party’s view as well as the view of other parties including the Congress party,” Sinha told PTI in an interview.

“It is time for India First and not party first,” he asserted, adding that the first option would be to form a majority government of the BJP at the centre.

But in case of a hung parliament, the two parties should give a serious thought to a strong coalition government based on a common minimum programme, he added.

Recollecting the bitter experiences of the NDA and the current UPA, Sinha argued that a BJP-Congress government is essential to “end the daily political blackmailing” by smaller and regional parties in the event of a hung parliament.

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