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, BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi said Tuesday. Joshi made the remarks at a memorial meeting for Congress leader and former Union minister S Jaipal Reddy, who died on July 28 in Hyderabad.
Recalling his association with Reddy during the early 1990s, when they were members of a forum of Parliamentarians on intellectual property rights, Joshi said: “Till the end, on this issue, he used to express his viewpoint at every level, whether he was a member of the forum, member of the Janata Party or member of the Congress party…he never compromised on these issues.”
“(I feel there is an acute need for such a leadership today that can be based on principles, without fear, express views clearly without worrying whether the Prime Minister will be pleased or angry, and argue with him).”
Joshi said that even after Reddy became a minister in the I K Gujral government, he agreed to convey the forum’s views to the Prime Minister — and when his opinion was sought, he said: “without any hesitation, in clear words, that he agrees with the proposal of the forum”.
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.
Singh said Reddy stood for righteousness in his political career and opposed anything that he felt was unjust or wrong. “Whether it pleased somebody or not, he always went according to his beliefs. As a Parliamentarian, he expressed himself without compromising on whatever he believed in and he chose very specific words in his speeches,” he said.
Among the others who spoke were Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, Sharad Yadav and Congress’s Abhishek Singhvi.