New Delhi: Bollywood filmstar-turned-BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha is hopeful of being inducted into Narendra Modi's Cabinet, but he has added that he would never seek a ministerial post on his own, and will not refuse, if offered.
Replying to queries from Rajat Sharma in 'Aap Ki Adalat' show on India TV, Sinha was asked whether he had any desire to become a minister in Modi cabinet.
He smilingly replied: "Yeh toh mujhe pata hai, achhe din aane wale hain" ( I know, good days will come).
The BJP MP elected from Patna Sahib was asked whether he was sad after he was not inducted to the Modi Cabinet in May.
He replied: "You won't find any wrinkle of sadness on my face. Yes, it could be, that some of my fans, my supporters and my relatives felt sad and surprised that I was not made a minister."
Sinha, who served as a Cabinet minister in former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government, said: "I have won with the highest margin across Bihar and Jharkhand. Naturally when I was not made the minister, some people felt sad and surprised. But I was not."
"It is the Prime Minister's prerogative to appoint anybody as minister. Who am I to challenge his wisdom? He may have thought he didn't need me. Probably a rumour was circulated that I was hospitalized," Sinha said.
"I had gone for a routine checkup to Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai, I was not hospitalized. I attended the swearing-in ceremony the next day. Later when the Prime Minister asked me about my health, I told him the same thing. I suspect some people might have gone and told him that I was unwell and would not be able to bear the onerous responsibility," Sinha added.
"Anyway, I will never challenge the wisdom of PM or the Parliamentary Board. Whatever they decided, it was their decision. If they feel that they need my services, I will definitely take up the responsibility. But I will never seek a ministerial post on my own, and if offered one, I will not refuse," Sinha opined.
When Rajat Sharma pointed out that he had backed senior BJP leader LK Advani for prime ministerial candidate last year, Sinha said: "Advaniji is my friend, philosopher, guide and ultimate guru. There is no greater statesman, and none more experienced than him. But when the Parliamentary Board decided to pitch for Modiji as prime ministerial candidate, how could I go against the party decision?"
"Advaniji is our father figure. Modiji is PM for all of us. He is doing well, and he symbolizes the wishes and aspirations of Indians. But how can we forget our father figure?" he asked.
Asked why he had said last year that former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could prove to be a good Prime Minister, Shatrughan Sinha replied: "One should have sportsmanship. Our opponents are not our enemies. I had praised the late Jyoti Basu. I had respect for the late Kanshi Ram. Even Vajpayee ji had compared Indira Gandhi as Durga. .....I did not join his (Nitish Kumar's) party, nor did I violate my party's Laxman Rekha."
When Rajat Sharma pointed out that the same Nitish Kumar has now joined hands with RJD chief Lalu Prasad, the BJP MP replied: "Look, that's their outlook. How can I say whether they have done the right thing, or the wrong thing."
On his Bollywood past, Shatrughan Sinha admitted that refusing the role of Jai (played by Amitabh Bachchan) in the blockbuster Sholay was a mistake.
"You can call it a human error," he said.
He also admitted that he made a mistake in keeping the Deewar script written by Salim-Javed on hold and the role ultimately went to Amitabh.
"After all, I am a human being. I was not mature. I had the surge of youth at that time. For the first time, I admit it was a mistake," the actor-turned-politician said.
On his professional rivalry with Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha said: "It's now old history. Both of us were not mature then. Now we meet with affection, and I have no complaints about him."
"We did several films together. People feel that our on-screen pair chemistry is dynamic. I don't bother who acts better, but if both of us appear on screen, the impact of the movie is greater, whether it's the matter of voice, or height, or dialogue delivery, or personality or of in-depth performance. I will blindly sign any offer coming from Amitabh Bachchan," he said.
Shatrughan Sinha in Rajat Sharma's 'Aap Ki Adalat' show will be telecast on India TV at 10 am and 10 pm on Sunday (August 3).