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BJP for negotiated solution to Ayodhya dispute


New Delhi: Questioning the credibility of the Liberhan Commission report, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday termed it “a national joke”.

Participating in the debate on the Liberhan Commission report in the Rajya Sabha, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said his party wanted “justice for all” and rejected the Congress charge that it was playing divisive politics.

Justifying the BJP’s campaign for construction of a temple to Lord Rama at Ayodhya, Jaitley said historical records point to existence of a temple at the site before 1528 and research done later had also corroborated this.

He said negotiations were the best way of finding solution to the Ayodhya dispute but some parties had an interest in perpetuating the problem.

“If you say you want to build a temple at the sacred site, then you are not secular, but if you say that the temple should not be built, you are secular,” he said.

“Secular society is not an irreligious society. It cannot be reverse discrimination against the majority community,” he said.

Rejecting the commission report, Jaitley wondered why it took 17 years to write it, “Was it being used to perpetuate self-employment?” he said, adding that the manner of its leak was as dubious as its contents.

Jaitley, whose speech was heard with rapt attention by the house, cited several pages from the report to point out “errors in basic facts”.

“The report is devoid of any credibility. It is an unimplementable document and a fraud on fact finding process. It is a national joke,” he said.

“It was not a fact finding mission but a commission which commented on ideology,” added Jaitley, who is Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

He also raised question over the actual author of the report.

Jaitley said Justice Liberhan in his report had thanked Harpreet Singh Giani in helping him to analyse the evidence, come to conclusion, editing report, and modifying the language.

“Giani has analysed the report, helped in drawing the conclusion, edited the report and the judge (Justice Liberhan) did the rest,” Jaitley said.

He said the commission was to give its findings on evidence to that core question on who demolished the mosque and whether it was done under planning. “The judge ignored the entire evidence and then came to a finding.”

“No demolisher was identified. Police said no, Muslim organizations said no, political parties said no, but the judge says that it could not have happened without conspiracy as your ideology promotes this. Whether he (Liberhan) was a truth investigator or a political pundit,” the BJP leader said.

Jaitley, who was repeatedly cheered by the BJP benches, said the government could have picked up the most illustrious judge for inquiry but instead chose a junior judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Though Home Minister P. Chidamabarm and Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal did intervene to contest some points raised by Jaitley, the Congress benches mostly heard him in silence.

Jaitley had the BJP benches in splits on many occasions with his quotes of recommendations from the report.

He said choice of a “puny judge” raises questions over credibility of entire judicial process.

Jaitley said that when a judge writes a judgement, his writing is interconnected.

He said the report had digressed to political issues such as Mandal Commission, loss of political neutrality. “The report is a tragedy of errors,” he said.

Referring to Justice Liberhan, Jaitley said he was not considered for elevation to the Supreme Court and in his report passed strictures against the highest court.

Taking exception to the inclusion of names of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Jaitley said the report had used “contrived logic” to indict party leader L.K. Advani.

Jaitley said it was wrong to say that former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had not received the report from the then Uttar Pradesh governor on the ground situation in Ayodhya.