Jaitley speaks to conquer
Overlooked by the RSS in its choice of the next BJP chief, Arun Jaitley, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, may have on Tuesday given the party's ideological fount something to think about.delhi Updated: Dec 10, 2009 00:40 IST
Overlooked by the RSS in its choice of the next BJP chief, Arun Jaitley, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, may have on Tuesday given the party's ideological fount something to think about.
As he stood up to debate the Libherhan Commission report in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley not only tore apart the report on the Babri mosque demolition but put in fresh arguments to back the temple cause - without resorting to the shrillness characteristic of his party colleagues.
What he said must clearly impress the RSS and hardcore BJP supporters. “Protection of legitimate rights of the minorities is unquestionably a test of a secular society. At the same time, the majority cannot live for centuries with a feeling of reverse discrimination.”
He asked Home Minister P. Chidambaram, “Does your inclusiveness exclude the religious aspiration of the majority for the sake of vote-bank politics? We reject your ‘vote-bank inclusiveness’ as we reject the Liberhan report. We stand for justice for all, with neither discrimination nor reverse discrimination.”
His assertion is significant because of the tussle over party leadership.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had said none of the “Delhi Four” - Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu and Anath Kumar - would be the BJP chief. But after Naidu met him, the RSS was forced to clarify it hadn't ruled out any leader though it pushed for Nitin Gadkari to succeed Rajnath Singh.
During the Lok Sabha debate, Singh, the outgoing BJP chief, argued for the temple "as a matter of faith" and Swaraj raised an emotional pitch to echo the RSS stand.
But Jaitley took a different line. He quoted judicial orders, dating back to 1885, with regard to the dispute on whether a temple existed before 1528 when the mosque came up.
“The principal question is what was the original character of this structure (Babri mosque)? The historical, archaeological and GPRS (ground-penetrating radar system) evidence is entirely against the historical vandalism of 1528…”