Kalyan says he was in ‘dark’ about Babri mosque demolition (Lead)

May 2nd, 2009 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Rebel Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalyan Singh Saturday sought to distance himself from Babri Masjid demolition in Uttar Pradesh saying that the party kept him in the “dark” about razing of the mosque in 1992 when he was the chief minister.
“It was a conspiracy against me by the BJP leaders. It was a conspiracy to oust me. I was kept in the dark (about the demolition),” said Kalyan Singh, who has since rebelled against the BJP and is now contesting as an independent from Etah district in Uttar Pradesh.

The 16th century mosque was razed by Hindu activists December 6, 1992, when Kalyan Singh was the chief minister of the state. It triggered large scale communal riots in northern India.

Singh said the BJP leaders had assured him that nothing would happen.

“Senior BJP leaders said no demolition will take place. I believed them,” he added, in an apparent attempt to woo the Muslim voters.

Raking up the caste factor, he said: “I was not acceptable to the BJP. I was targeted because I come from backward class.”

Reacting to Singh’s statement, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad pointed out that a court had named him an accused in the mosque demolition case.

“He (Kalyan) is a convict in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. He is not a member of the Samajwadi Party. Is he a member of Samajwadi Party?” he asked.

Kalyan Singh had quit the BJP before the start of Lok Sabha elections and has been campaigning for the Samajwadi Party.

Kalyan Singh, who spoke to the media in Bulandsher, said: “You are going back too far in the past. Muslims have accepted me and I have accepted the Muslims,” said Singh.

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