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Liberhan trips on facts?

The Justice MS Liberhan Commission report on the Babri Masjid demolition, yet to be debated in Parliament, appears to have tripped on facts more than once, reports Nagendar Sharma.

delhi Updated: Dec 01, 2009 00:56 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The Justice MS Liberhan Commission report on the Babri Masjid demolition, yet to be debated in Parliament, appears to have tripped on facts more than once.

The one-man panel of the former high court chief justice took 17 years to probe the December 6, 1992, incident at Ayodhya.

The report tests the general awareness of the readers at many points.

What led to the fall of Chandra Shekhar government in 1991? Before knowing the answer, read what the report says on page 352 in its sixth chapter, titled The Mobilisation of Karsevaks: “The BJP withdrew the support to the Janata government, therefore fresh elections were declared in March 1991. Religion was used for political objectives.”

The fact is that it was the Congress and not the BJP, which withdrew support to the Chandra Shekhar government, after supporting it from outside for a period of four months.

The Congress had charged the government with spying on its then party president, former prime minister, late Rajiv Gandhi and pulled down the government, which led to the 1991 parliament elections.

Shekhar had become PM in November 1990, when he split the Janata Dal, leading to V.P. Singh losing the trust vote. Singh lost the PM’s chair after 40 MPs of his party deserted him and the BJP withdrew support following the arrest of L.K. Advani in Bihar.

Shekhar died in 2007 and Singh passed away in November last year.

On page 354, the report says: “..Advani’s rath yatra in 1990… brought the BJP and its allies to power in many states in 1991.”

Fact is that elections were held in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, UP and West Bengal in 1991. The BJP won only in UP.

Justice Liberhan also seems to have chosen former PM Gulzari Lal Nanda for special attention in his report.

In the third chapter, titled The Sequence of Events, on page 80, it says: “In 1983, Rajinder Singh of the RSS, Dau Dayal Khanna and Gulzari Lal Nanda (Union Minister) intermittently raised the question for liberation of the disputed structure.”

Fact remains that Nanda quit the Indira Gandhi cabinet and politics in 1971.