BJP trashes Liberhan report, Congress counters (Roundup)

December 9th, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clashed in the Rajya Sabha over the Liberhan Commission report Wednesday, with the opposition calling it a “national joke”. The ruling party hit back with an accusation of a “cold-blooded conspiracy” to pull down the mosque Dec 6, 1992.
Arun Jaitley of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the third speaker after Samajwadi Party’s Amar Singh initiated a short duration discussion on the Liberhan report, also wondered whether the report had been outsourced to some other people to be written.

“The report is devoid of any credibility. It is an unimplementable document and a fraud on fact-finding process. It is a national joke,” Jaitley thundered. “It was not a fact-finding mission but a commission which commented on ideology.”

Questioning the 17 years the commission took to submit its report, Jaitley asked: “Was it being used to perpetuate self-employment?”

Noting that the report had numerous “factual errors”, Jaitley said it was written in a language far removed from that used by the judiciary.

Jaitley even raised questions about the actual author of the report.

Pointing out that Justice Liberhan, in his report, had thanked Harpreet Singh Giani in helping him analyse the evidence to come to a conclusion, editing the report, and modifying the language, Jaitley said: “Giani has analysed the report, helped in drawing the conclusion, editing the report, and the judge (Justice Liberhan) did the rest.”

Speaking after Amar Singh, Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress said: “The central theme (in the report) is not (former prime ministers) Atal Bihari Vajpayee, P.V. Narasimha Rao, factual inaccuracies or leakage (of the report) but who broke the mosque and why and how they did it.”

Singhvi accused the BJP of skirting the core issue of culpability in discussing the Liberhan report.

He termed as a “sad, sordid saga of brazen, cheap politics” the BJP’s Ayodhya campaign that led to the razing of the 16th century Babri mosque.

Charging the BJP and the Sangh Parivar with double-faced conduct, the Congress leader said the demolition was a “carefully conceived and cold-blooded conspiracy done with enormous pre-planning”.

Rejecting the BJP’s argument that the destruction was a spontaneous act, Singhvi said that over 200,000 people were present at the site in Ayodhya Dec 6, 1992, and “kar sevaks” had been trained in pulling down the structure.

He said Sangh Parivar activists carried tools and even “manhandled” journalists to prevent any eyewitness account of the mosque razing that sparked off widespread communal violence.

“The Liberhan report was a formal vindication but the conduct (of BJP) was damned years ago,” Singhvi maintained.

Tracing the history of the disputed land in Ayodhya, Singhvi said it was at best a local problem until the BJP made it a part of its political agenda following its dismal showing in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections that were caused by the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. The BJP had won only two seats in that election.

Hitting out at BJP leader L.K. Advani, Singhvi said the movement to build a temple for Lord Rama was launched “for pelf, power and self-aggrandizement, in particular of one man who is Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha”.

He said the ’shilanyas’ in 1989 at Ayodhya when Rajiv Gandhi headed a Congress government in New Delhi took place on a piece of land that was not disputed.

Singhvi said that Vajpayee could not escape moral responsibility for the demolition but he could go to court to get his name removed from the Liberhan report.

He insisted that then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao was misled by the Sangh Parivar and then BJP Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh on the situation in Ayodhya ahead of the mosque demolition.

“Certainly, everybody was misled, including the Supreme Court, the Congress and Rao,” Singhvi added.

On its part, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) expressed its dissatisfaction with the government’s Action Taken Report (ATR) on the Liberhan report and demanded that all the cases related to the mosque demolition be clubbed together before the Supreme Court, which should be requested for an early verdict.

CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said the demolition was “a criminal act and worst expression of vote-bank politics”.

He also said that the ATR “does not inspire confidence. If the government is sincere, it should intervene through its judicial officers to get the demolition cases clubbed together and move Supreme Court for an early verdict”.

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