Veteran BJP leader and former party president Murli Manohar Joshi has said that the practice of holding discussions which cut across party lines on issues of national and international importance is “almost finished” and there is a need to revive it .
Joshi made the remarks 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 CPM 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. The BJP veteran along with other leaders, including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, paid rich tributes to Reddy.