“We are ready for any punishment, if you want to punish us” – Sushama Swaraj

published on December 8, 2009

Dump Liberhan, Sushma demands

Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

In a scathing attack on Liberhan Commission which probed the demolition of Babri Masjid, the BJP on Tuesday said the Commission report had drawn ‘perverted’ conclusions and the Government should scrap it as it was “divisive” and had the potential of whipping up communal frenzy.

Taking the discussion forward in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj questioned the credibility of the report and said it was both biased and farce. “Justice Liberhan has written an entire chapter on Muslim organisations. Every word reeks of communalism. He has asked all Muslims to stand up against their leaders and declare war against them. I stand here and ask, what was his mandate? The report sows the seeds of communal frenzy. I appeal to the Home Minister to scrap this report. If this report stays and people read it, it will unleash communal fury.”

The deputy leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha asserted that party leaders and workers were ready to be punished for what happened at Ayodhya on December 6, but the Government must find solutions to Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue.

The BJP leader said karsewaks had dismantled the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, but dismissed the charge that it was a conspiracy.

“If you want answers, we are ready to give them. We have already given them but we are still giving them. Ask us. Did karsewaks demolish the structure? Yes. Was there a conspiracy? No. Are we ready to be punished for this? I want to stand in this House today and say: Yes, I am ready to be punished for it. Even those who are outside this House are ready. Even those who were not present in Ayodhya at that time are ready for the punishment. But don’t avoid the issue. Find a solution. The only solution is possible through dialogue,” she said.

Dubbing the report as “ill-founded”, the BJP leader said the commission had indicted former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was not even summoned once to depose, which went against the principles of natural justice.

Swaraj held Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was the Finance Minister in then PV Narasimha Rao Government, partly responsible for the demolition. “There is only one reference to Narasimha Rao in the entire report and that too when Justice Liberhan thanks him for appearing before the commission. On the contrary, someone who was not even present on that day in Ayodhya – Atalji – against whom there is not even an iota of evidence, his name is mentioned 22 times in the report and is even there in list of culpable people.

Swaraj said Justice Liberhan, on the day his report was tabled in the House, said he had not indicted Vajpayee, but two days later said as the leader of the BJP he must take responsibility for the demolition, just as “managing director” should for the wrongdoings of his company.

“This clearly shows that he had not read his own report, which mentions Vajpayee 22 times. Then who prepared the report?” she asked.

“If Vajpayee, as managing director, should own up responsibility, what about the then managing director of the Congress (Narasimha Rao) and the then director (Manmohan Singh), who is now the managing director,” she posed.

She said the CBI, intelligence agencies and Muslim organisations failed to prove conclusively before the commission the conspiracy charge, as stated in the report itself.

“Then how did Justice Liberhan come to the conclusion that there was a conspiracy? Just because funds were spent to mobilise karsewaks?” she asked.

Swaraj termed the report as a “political” one written by an “opportunist” and demanded to know from Home Minister P Chidambaram what wishes of Justice Liberhan had been fulfilled in lieu of such a favourable report. “Aapne unki kaun si khwaish poori ki? Wish list toh bahut lambi thi unki – jo Supreme Court se lekar Raj Bhawan tak pahunchti thi. Please tell us Chidambaramji. If you don’t tell us now, the truth would come out in a few months.”

On the report dismissing the Ram Temple agitation as “not a people’s movement”, Swaraj slammed Justice Liberhan, saying he would not know the facts of the wave in favour of the temple by sitting in an air-conditioned office in Chandigarh.

“It was the largest people’s movement of post-Independent India and LK Advani, a mass leader. Ram is the soul of India as all religions with origins in the country, including the Sikh Guru Granth praised Ram,” she said.

Swaraj said there were “perverted conclusions” in the report and pointed out “inadequacies” such as attributing a quote of Muslim League leader Mohammed Ali Jinnah on the two-nation theory to BJP leader Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

Taking a dig at CPI member Gurudas Dasgupta for calling for “political isolation” of the BJP, Swaraj said only talks among all political groups was a solution to the menace of communalism. Swaraj said Dasgupta, while talking of isolating the BJP, had four days ago invited her to address an AITUC rally against the Government’s economic policies.

“When you want to get closer to the Congress, you say we should come together to fight communalism. When you want to join hands with the BJP, you say let’s get together on economic issues. That’s your double talk,” she said.

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