BJP fully responsible for Babri mosque demolition: Chidambaram

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

NEW DELHI - 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.

In his reply to the debate on the Liberhan Commission report, Chidambaram said every single promise by the BJP leaders and then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh to protect the mosque was broken.

Amid continuous slogan-shouting by the BJP-led opposition, Chidambaram admitted that the P.V. Narasimha Rao government had erred but said that it was an error of political judgement as the former prime minister believed the “false” promises of the BJP leaders. “The Congress party paid the price of its political judgement,” he said.

Extensively quoting from the report, the minister said there was evidence that the Babri mosque was pulled down as a pre-planned act. “The plan was conceived by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. It controlled every aspect of the Ayodhya movement.”

“The promise to protect Babri masjid was one big lie. The then Uttar Pradesh chief minister lied to the centre and the Supreme Court,” he said.

The minister said that kar sevaks carried hammers and iron rods and the mosque was demolished by pulling it down from inside and not from the top

He said that the BJP had not expressed regret over the demolition and its policies continue to be “divisive”.

While the minister was replying, Samajwadi Party members raised slogans that both Congress and BJP were responsible for the demolition.

Chidambaram, who spoke for almost an hour amid unabated slogan shouting, restrained his colleagues from reacting after a paper ball was lobbed towards him. As slogans like “Down, down Chidambaram” and “Jai, Jai Atal” rent the air, the minister did not give up, and was repeatedly cheered by his party colleagues through thumping of tables.

The minister, who was barely audible due to slogan shouting, said the idea of “inclusive India” represented by the Congress and other secular parties had been preferred by the people of India in 2004 and 2009 elections and “divisive politics” of the BJP had been rejected.

The uproar in the house started before the minister’s reply after P.C. Chacko, who was presiding over the proceedings, asked the members, who had not got the opportunity to speak, to lay their speeches on the table of the house.

The opposition members protested at this. The house had earlier witnessed noisy scenes and two adjournments over derogatory remarks by Congress MP Beni Prasad Verma against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders indicted in the report.

Congress leader and Minority Affairs minister Salman Khurshid later said that the Home Ministry will take the necessary action on the Liberhan report.

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