Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral advised the Bharatiya Janata Party to deal with its allies with generosity and reach a pre-poll coalition ahead of the 2019 General Elections, reported NDTV on Thursday. Akali Dal is an ally of the BJP in Punjab.

Gujral said he did not think any single party would win more than 200 seats in the 2019 elections. “So whoever makes the right pre-poll coalition is going to be the winner,” he said during a discussion on the news channel.

“So it’s very important that BJP quickly settles with existing allies especially the Shiv Sena, deal with them with generosity and at the same time reach out to parties who were a part of the [Atal Bihari] Vajpayee rainbow coalition at one stage, so that you have a strong pre-poll coalition in place before 2019,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha MP warned that the BJP is in “big trouble” if it did not see the reality. “The minorities want security,” Gujral said. “If you don’t provide them security, they will vote en masse with the Congress and allies. Unless we recognise factors like economic factors and especially rural distress, we are in for trouble.”

When asked if he had raised his concerns with the BJP’s leadership, he said the Akali Dal has been talking about the agrarian crisis, but “unfortunately we were not being heard on the issue”.

The Shiv Sena had on Tuesday said that the results of the Assembly elections sent “a clear message” to the BJP and the members of the ruling National Democratic Alliance need to introspect. Shiv Sena is a member of the BJP-led coalition. The party has had several differences with the BJP in recent years.