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. They owe an explanation as to what they discussed at the meeting,” Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha.
Amid slogan-shouting by the BJP members, Chidambaram persisted with his speech. He hit out at the then Uttar Pradesh government, headed by Kalyan Singh, for giving “false assurances to the Centre about its commitment to protect the Babri mosque” and “handing out an unadulterated lie to the Supreme Court and lying to the National Integration Council”.
His speech for most parts was inaudible, as the BJP members crowded the well of the House shouting slogans of “Atalji Jai Jai”.
Protesting a derogatory term used in reference to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by Congress member Beni Prasad Verma, the BJP members insisted on an apology from the member even after the home minister apologised for the member’s remarks.
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.
Tempers remained frayed even after Speaker Meira Kumar said the remark had been expunged from the records.
Significantly, Chidambaram failed to endorse cabinet colleague Salman Khursheed’s “clean chit” to former PM Vajpayee.
The minister conceded partial responsibility for the demolition, but said the then Union government was not directly responsible for the demolition.
“Nobody can accuse the Congress government of not providing adequate support (for protecting the mosque).” The Centre had sent adequate number of central forces, but Kalyan Singh deployed only four companies at Ayodhya, he said.
Chidambaram said the voters had rejected the BJP’s divisive politics. “There are two ideas of India: The divisive concept of the BJP versus the inclusive politics of the Congress.”
In the 2004 and 2009 elections, the electorate repeatedly rejected the BJP's divisive politics, he said.