Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi said on Tuesday that India needs a leadership that can fearlessly argue with the prime minister based on principles, The Indian Express reported. The veteran politician made the remark at a memorial service organised for Congress leader and former Union minister S Jaipal Reddy, who died in Hyderabad on July 28.

Joshi recalled his association with Reddy in the 1990s, when they were members of a Parliamentary panel on intellectual property rights. “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,” Joshi said.

“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 [Narendra Modi] will be pleased or angry, and argue with him,” the BJP leader added.

Joshi was the BJP president between 1991 and 1993, when he headed the party’s Ekta Yatra. Narendra Modi was then the organiser of the event.

Joshi, in his speech on Tuesday, also sought a revival of talks across party lines, the Hindustan Times reported. “Earlier, there were multiple forums which had people from different parties where they tried and formed opinions on national and international issues,” Joshi said. “Those attempts have become scarce, in fact, are almost finished. It is important to revive such practices.”

Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Communist Party of India General Secretary D Raja, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi also attend the service.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.