Congress in no hurry to act on Babri probe report


New Delhi : The ruling Congress Wednesday showed its reluctance to table in parliament the Liberhan Commission inquiry report on the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition as it wants to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from making political capital out of it.

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Party leaders gave indications that the Congress-led government might not present the report in parliament during the month-long budget session that begins Thursday. They said the party would not like to provide a political handle to the BJP just when it plans to push crucial policy initiatives in the house.

While the BJP wonders over the timing of the report submission, the Congress only said the government was studying the voluminous document.

Justice (retired) M.S. Liberhan, who probed the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya Dec 6, 1992, submitted his inquiry report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday.

The inquiry document reportedly indicts some top BJP leaders for the demolition of the 16th century monument and does not spare then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao of the Congress either.

In a clear indication that the government could take its own time to decide, Congress national spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here: “They (government) have just got the report. Let’s not restrain their flexibility.

“The government will study the report and take appropriate action on it,” he said, when asked if it would be tabled in parliament.

A senior Congress leader told IANS pleading anonymity: “The party leadership may not wish to give the BJP a chance to make political capital at this juncture when it plans to push for its agenda for the first 100 days in the budget session.”

He asked “why should we upset our applecart”, and added that any wrong move might give the opposition party the opportunity to “revive its Hindutva movement again and charge us with vendetta”.

The mosque was demolished by radical Hindu groups that maintain it was built on the birthplace of Hindu god Ram in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. At the time, BJP’s Kalyan Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

The panel, set up 10 days after the Dec 6, 1992 demolition, was mandated to investigate what led to the demolition and was to submit its report by March 16, 1993 but got repeated extensions for 16 years.

“Didn’t you notice the BJP quickly grabbed the issue and said yesterday that they would build a Ram temple at the same place. They see possibilities of revival of the party,” the Congress leader pointed out.

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who was among those questioned by the inquiry commission, Wednesday questioned the timing of the report submission. “Why now? What is the hurry? They could have done so after the budget session,” he said.