While Opposition is already targeting the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, now senior BJP leaders also feel that the country needs leadership that can argue with the Prime Minister. On Tuesday, BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi said that India needs a leadership that can argue with the Prime Minister on issues based on principles, and fearlessly express views without worrying whether he would be pleased or angry.
Murli Manohar Joshi told the Indian Express, “Mein aisa samajhta hun ki aajkal aise netritva ki bohut aavashyakata hain jo siddhandhon ke saat bebaaki ke saat aur bin kuch is baat ke chinta kiye hue pradhan mantri naraaz honge ya khush honge, apni baat saaf saaf kehte hain, unse bahas karte hain. (I feel there is an acute need for such a leadership today that can, based on principles, without fear, express views clearly without worrying whether the Prime Minister will be pleased or angry, and argue with him)”
The practice of holding discussions cutting across party lines on issues of national and international importance is "almost finished" and there is a need to revive it, veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said on Tuesday. Joshi made the remarks here as he and other leaders paid tributes to senior Congress leader Jaipal Reddy, who passed away in July. He recalled that Reddy, when he was a minister, was part of a key forum for discussions on Intellectual Property Rights in the 1990s and would often agree with the other members irrespective of the government line.
There was also a forum in Parliament that used to keep having face-offs with the then prime minister on various issues and many a time CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury used to agree "with us and we used to agree with him on some issues", the BJP stalwart said, without elaborating. "There used to be an attempt (in various forums) having people from different parties to try and form an opinion on national and international issues. Those attempts have become scarce, in fact, are almost finished. It is important to revive such practices," Joshi said.
"There are some questions that are important to the country and in some cases also important to the world. Having discussions on them and forming an opinion is not only important for democracy, but for the country and its future," he said. Holding discussions and consultations, cutting across party lines, keeping aside the relationship with the party, on problems facing the country would be the real tribute to Reddy, Joshi said.
Tuesday’s memorial meeting was also attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and political leaders cutting across party lines, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.