The BJP trashed the Liberhan Commission report as a “national joke” but refused to take responsibility for the Babri mosque demolition during a lively five-hour debate in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley led the charge in a spirited speech.
“The report is a fraud on fact-finding mission… it is a compilation of howlers and tragedy of errors,” Jaitley said. “He (Justice Liberhan) errs on basic facts... gets the date of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination wrong... puts M.A. Jinnah’s words in the mouth of Deen Dayal Upadhyay and you want the country to take the report seriously?”
Jaitley said the judge used 17 years to keep himself employed and the report seemed to have been written by someone else.
“I feel the report is an outsourced document. It should be found out who the de facto author of the report is. The manner of the leak of the report is as dubious as the report.”
As soon as Jaitley finished speaking, Union ministers P. Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal stood up together and challenged him with the question: “Who demolished the Babri Masjid?”
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the BJP leader only touched on “extraneous” issues. He said though the Congress could not absolve itself of its responsibility in the demolition, and the fact was that a “heinous crime” was committed.
“One has to differentiate between a murderer and a cop. Even if a cop did not do his duty, it does not mean that the murder was not committed, and the murdered would have to be punished,” Yechury said.
He demanded that the government club all cases related to the demolition and bring them before the Supreme Court.
Yechury said his party was dissatisfied with the action taken report (ATR) tabled by the government on the commission’s findings. “Please have a re-look at it and ensure that justice is done.”
Earlier, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi termed
the BJP “hypocritic”, blaming it for diverting from the main issue.
“The issue is who demolished the Babri Masjid and why did they do it,” he said. “It was a carefully conceived and calibrated conspiracy.... enormous pre-planning was involved.”
He said L.K. Advani’s statements after the demolition in 1992 and in 2009 were contradictory and accused him of hypocrisy. “Even a crocodile has more genuine tears,” Singhvi said.