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Babri storm in Parliament
Published on 9 Dec. 2009 1:13 AM IST
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Amid acrimony in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister P. Chidambaram held the Sangh Parivar responsible for the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992 and dismissed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj’s contention that there was no conspiracy behind the incident. Government asserted that the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya was a “pre-planned and cold-blooded” act conducted by the Sangh Parivar, and that BJP leaders like L K Advani and M M Joshi cannot escape responsibility. Replying to a heated debate on the Liberhan Commisison report, home minister P Chidambaram said the kar sevaks from various states and logistical support had been mobilised with the “sole intention” of destroying the structure. Singling out then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh for his attack amid constant slogan-shouting by NDA members, Chidambaram said the state government had “lied” to the Centre, the Supreme Court and the National Integration Council that the structure would be protected. Regretting that the then P V Narasimha Rao government had made a “wrong political judgment”, he said it was based on the promises of the state government. “The promises made by the BJP were completely false .... to induce us in a state of optimistic slumber.” Giving elaborate details on the manner the structure was pulled down by kar sevaks, he said it showed that the entire act was “pre-planned, wanton, conspiratorial and cold-blooded destruction”. Chidambaram said Advani and Joshi made “feeble” attempts to stop the activists, which indicated a “hidden” intent of complicity. The home minister said Advani and Joshi had a held a closed door meeting with Vinay Katiyar, Ashok Singhal and other Sangh Parivar leaders on the morning of December 6, 1992, about which there is no account. “I want to ask them what did you talk, what did you discuss, what did you decide. You had breakfast and then proceeded to the place (Ayodhya site). Tell us, tell the nation what did you discuss and decide on that morning,” he said referring to Advani and Joshi who were not present in the House. Throughout his hour-long speech, BJP and Shiv Sena members continued shouting slogans hailing Atal Bihari Vajpayee, against whom Congress member Beni Prasad Verma had made certain demeaning remarks. Amid cries of ‘shame, shame’ from treasury benches, Chidambaram said he had thought that after Liberhan report, the RSS and BJP would be remorseful. “But they have no remorse, no shame.” He said the “horrendous consequences” of the demolition led to communal riots from December 1992 to March 1993, which claimed 2,019 lives. “It continues to divide our country even today.” Hitting out at BJP, he said its “idea of India” which entails “divisive politics” was rejected by the people in 2004 and again in 2009. “That verdict is greater than Liberhan (indictment).” Liberhan report perverse, baseless: BJP Rejecting the Liberhan Commission report as “perverse, baseless and ill-founded”, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said in the Lok Sabha that there was no premeditated conspiracy behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid. “The commission has said that the central government had become handicapped. Who was leading it? Narasimha Rao. There was testimony against him. Mulayam Singh Yadav also gave an affidavit against him,” BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha. “But there was no adverse comment against him... on the contrary... Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was never called before commission, has been talked about 22 times. He has been indicted and has been alleged to have disrupted communal harmony,” she said. As senior BJP leader L.K. Advani looked on, Sushma Swaraj added: “Clean chit to Rao and Vajpayeeji indicted. If it is not perverse than what is? Findings are perverse, ill-founded and are contrary to the available evidence.” The BJP said it was “dismissing” the report. Dismissing the suggestion of any conspiracy behind the demolition of the “disputed structure”, Sushma Swaraj said that it was “a mass movement” that had made Advani a “mass leader”. “It is not a judicial report but a political report by an opportunist. Which wish of Justice Liberhan have you granted? I know his wish list was very long,” Sushma Swaraj asked Home Minister P. Chidambaram. She further added: “We accept that karsevaks demolished the structure but not under a premeditated conspiracy. I am ready to take punishment for the incident. “But do not shy away from the problem. The court has not been able to find a solution for the problem for the last 50 years and it can be resolved only through negotiation.”

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