Ex-MP claims Rajiv Gandhi and RSS had a nexus
Banwarilal Purohit claims the secret pact was for the construction of a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhyam, reports PK Maitra.india Updated: Apr 25, 2007 20:40 IST
In a sensational revelation, the former Congress Lok Sabha member Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday opened a hornet's nest by claiming that the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had a `secret pact' with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the Shilanyas ceremony of Ram Temple and construction of a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
Reacting to the recent statement of Rahul Gandhi that the Babri mosque would have never been razed in 1992, if a Gandhi had been ruling India, Purohit said that Rahul has no knowledge of many events that remain concealed from public eye in the larger national interest.
Purohit, who was then a Congress Lok Sabha member from Nagpur, claims that he played the role of mediator for a dialogue between the Congress leaders and RSS functionaries at Nagpur on the issue. The former MP, who had delivered a speech in Lok Sabha in 1989 to justify for the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, was called by Rajiv to discuss the issue in detail. "Since I belonged to Nagpur, Rajivji wondered if I knew the then RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras. Upon hearing my `off course very well', Gandhi wanted to know my opinion on whether the RSS would support the Congress in elections if Shilanyas at Ram Janmabhoomi is permitted," he disclosed.
According to Purohit, he later discussed the issue with senior RSS functionaries and finally fixed a secret meeting between Deoras and Rajiv emissary at Nagpur. The former prime minister later directed the then Home minister, Buta Singh to brief former union minister Bhanu Prakash Singh and meet Deoras at Nagpur. Accordingly, they met at Nagpur and discussed the issue for an hour. In the meeting, Deoras agreed that if the government led by Gandhi upheld the Hindu interests and allowed Shilasnyas, the RSS would support the Congress in the next elections.
To further the dialogue, it was decided that Deoras would meet Buta Singh in Delhi. That meeting, however, did not take place because Deoras took ill. So, the then second-in-command, Rajendra Singh represented Deoras and met Singh in Delhi. Two leaders had arrived at an agreement, which meant that Gandhi would permit the Shilasnyas at the disputed site and RSS would support the Congress in the next elections. As per this understanding, Gandhi allowed Shilanyas to take place at the disputed site that signaled the start of the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya. The subsequent event, however, changed the course of history once again. As the Shilasnyas was performed, a group of Muslim leaders met Gandhi and expressed displeasure over it. They also threatened him of a backlash of Muslims voters turning away from the Congress. As a result, Rajiv then ordered a stay on the construction activities at the site. As Gandhi failed to keep his promises, the Sangh Parivar did not support his party in the elections, Purohit further claimed.
If the former Nagpur MP is to be believed, Sangh had a soft corner on the century-old party during the period and that's why late Deoras even publicly announced that there was no alternative to the Congress. "Rahul Gandhi is not aware of may facts, which, I feel, is my precious national duty to reveal at this point of time," he pointed out and said that two important persons, who witnessed all these developments, Buta Singh and Bhanu Prakash Singh are still alive and it can be verified from them.
Purohit, who was elected twice to Lok Sabha as the Congress nominee, resigned from the century-old party on the issue of Ram temple and joined the BJP in 1991. He was elected to the Lok Sabha again as BJP candidate in 1996 elections. However, he also left the saffron party in 1998 because of his differences with late Pramod Mahajan.
First Published: Apr 25, 2007 20:17 IST