The Liberhan Commission report on the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 was allegedly leaked to the media by the Congress in November 2009, according to the US embassy in New Delhi.
The embassy — in a secret diplomatic cable sent to Washington and its other missions around the world, now available on the Wikileaks — concluded that the Congress’s move was aimed at distracting attention from serious issues faced by the government.
“The report had been allegedly leaked by the Congress to distract the public...from contentious issues such as price rises and party scandals,” said a cable sent on November 25, 2009.According to the cable, the opposition had accused the Congress of deliberately leaking the report three days after it was "forced to backtrack on a sugarcane pricing measure after the opposition parties mobilised a huge rally in the capital and blocked proceedings in Parliament".
Congress leader Rashid Alvi, however, had told the embassy officials that the leak was “being blown out of proportion by the BJP and its allies. “They should focus more on what they shamefully did 17 years back.”
Liberhan Commission was set up by the then Congress government in December 1992, barely 10 days after the mosque was demolished at Ayodhya.
The one-man commission took 17 years to complete the report. It had finally submitted its report to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June 2009.
Interestingly, the prime minister was on a foreign trip when the report was leaked in November 2009, forcing the government to lay it in Parliament a day later.
“The Congress’s leak backfired, as the BJP focused media attention on the leak, rather than the report’s contents in the debate in Parliament. The BJP, however, lost some ground to the report’s vilification of several prominent party leaders,” stated the cable, made public by Wikileaks.
“Ultimately the big winner in the Liberhan drama is the opposition, which once again proved that despite the disparate interests of individual parties, it can unite against the ruling UPA coalition on selective issues,” the US embassy observed.
The Congress, which hoped to gain short-term political advantage by leaking the report and then tabling it in Parliament, was on the defensive during the House debate, weaving and ducking from opposition attacks over a report riddled with factual errors.