In a direct admission of its failure to protect the Babri Masjid, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Tuesday that “both the Congress and then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao paid the price” for it.
Amidst continuous slogan shouting by BJP members, the Home Minister summed up a highly-charged two day discussion on the Liberhan Commission report in the Lok Sabha by conceding that the “Congress erred in its judgment by relying on then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh’s assurances about preventing damage to the disputed structure”
At the same time, Chidambaram maintained that the then Central government was not directly responsible for the demolition. “Nobody can accuse the Congress government of not providing adequate support (for protecting the mosque)”.
“The union government sent adequate number of central forces, but Kalyan Singh deployed only four companies at Ayodhya”, he said.
The Home Minister’s speech remained mostly inaudible, as BJP members crowded together in the well of the House, while continuing to raise slogans of “Atalji Jai Jai”.
Protesting against a derogatory term used in reference to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee by Congress member Beni Prasad Verma, the BJP members remained insistent on an apology from the member even after the Home Minister intervened to apologize for the member’s remarks – if these had hurt the sentiments of the BJP members.
Playing around with words used by the Justice Liberhan in his report, Verma referred to Vajpayee and other BJP leaders as “neech aadmi” (lowly people).
The remark sparked off huge protests from the Opposition benches, with the House witnessing two adjournments on the issue. Tempers remained frayed even after Speaker Meira Kumar stated that the objectionable remark had been expunged from the records.
PC takes the floor, slams ‘divisive’ BJP
Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Tuesday the Liberhan Commission report didn’t leave an iota of doubt that the “wanton and cold-blooded” destruction of the Babri Masjid was the result of a “pre-planned conspiracy of the BJP and Sangh Parivar”.
“BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani and Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi had a breakfast meeting at Ayodhya on the day the mosque was demolished in 1992.