The alleged “leakage” of the Liberhan Commission report caused uproarious scenes in both Houses of Parliament on Monday, leading to adjournments without any business having been transacted.
It also brought together sworn political foes. Agitated members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were joined by the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Biju Janata Dal, besides the CPI and CPI(M).
Even Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s assurance that the report, along with the Action Taken Report, would be tabled in both Houses during the winter session failed to pacify the Opposition.
Immediately after the Lok Sabha convened, BJP members were up on their feet, alleging that the government had deliberately leaked the report.
Stating that the party was “shocked” at Vajpayee being named in the Babri demolition case, leader of Opposition L.K. Advani demanded immediate tabling of the report and discussions on the subject.
SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded to know who leaked the report to the media. But he also distanced himself from the BJP, saying, “If Advani is proud of the Ayodhya movement, I am equally proud of protecting the Babri mosque”.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha. Opposition MPs accused the government of breaching the privilege of Parliament by selectively leaking the report. Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said it had lowered the dignity of Parliament.
Vajpayee as ‘accused’ surprises advani
Leader of Opposition and BJP leader L.K. Advani said he was surprised to see former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee among those who have been accused by the Liberhan Commission of having a role in the Babri mosque demolition.
The reason: He remembered requesting the committee not to ask Vajpayee to depose, as he was not present in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, when the mosque was demolished.
Advani wrote to the committee after he was told that Mohammed Aslam Bhure, a petitioner in the Ayodhya case in the Supreme Court, had sought Vajpayee’s appearance before the commission. “My plea was accepted by the panel,” he said.
Advani said he did not want to go into the motives of those who had “leaked” the report, but “all I know is that Vajpayee cannot be blamed at all. I can understand if my name is there”.