Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday defended his Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) colleague Lalu Prasad's statement that both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress were responsible for the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid.
“What wrong has he (Lalu Prasad) said,” Paswan asked.
Taking a further dig at the Congress, which leads the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of which both Lalu Prasad and Paswan are key members, Paswan said about the political situation in his constituency Hajipur: "What is the Congress doing? When they know that they cannot garner even 2,000 votes in Hajipur, why did they put up a candidate against me? What strength are they trying to prove?"
The RJD and the LJP fell out with the Congress over the issue of seat sharing in Bihar -- a miffed Congress went ahead to contest Bihar on its own while the RJD and the LJP tied up with the Samajwadi Party to form an electoral alliance for the 120 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Widening the gulf with the Congress, Lalu Prasad had said April 17 in Darbhanga in Bihar that the Congress was responsible for the demolition of the Babri mosque.
"The Congress failed to protect the Babri Masjid as it did nothing to prevent it. Not only the BJP, the Congress is also equally responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya."
A large mob converged in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and destroyed the 16th century mosque Dec 6, 1992, claiming it was built at the very place where Lord Ram was born. The Narasimha Rao led-Congress government was then in power in New Delhi while Kalyan Singh presided over a BJP government in Lucknow.
While Congress wondered why Lalu Prasad had kept quiet about it so long, the BJP said the Congress, the RJD and the Samajwadi Party were playing politics on the Ayodhya issue to cater to a particular vote bank.