Ex-Liberhan counsel rejects Vajpayee role in Babri demolition

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New Delhi, Nov 23 (ANI): Former Liberhan Commission counsel Anupam Gupta said here on Monday that dragging the name of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition was an attempt to shift the focus from the role played by L.K Advani.

"I think that naming Vajpayee along with Advani may be an attempt to shift the focus from the later," Gupta told a private news channel.

"I am astonished over the indictment of Vajpayee along with Advani in the report," he said, adding that Vajpayee had no role to play in the incident.

"It is well known that it was Advani who nationalised the Ramjanmbhoomi Movement, he built the nationwide mass movement with his leadership skills," Gupta added.

Gupta also mentioned that, "The responsibility of the demolition also lies with the people who built the movement."

Though Monday's media report quoted the Liberhan Commission report as blaming Muslim leaders for the incident, Gupta refused to comment on that aspect.

Earlier in the day, The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a derisive attack on the UPA Government over the alleged leak of the Justice Liberhan Commission of Inquiry report on the Babri Masjid demolition.

Speaking to the media, party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the Congress Party was trying to use the Liberhan report to deflect the country's attention from other important issues.

"Does it take 17 years for a report to get published? It's a ploy of Congress to distract the nation from price rise, the issue of farmers, the issue of Madhu Koda's scam. The Congress party has given a selective leak. We are ready for the report to be tabled in Parliament. We have been demanding for long for it to be tabled. Why is the Congress party shying away?" Rudy asked.

"Liberhan Commission report is a Parliament issue. The newspaper report is baseless. Why is the government playing hide and seek? Why can't the government table the report in Parliament? It's been told to the nation through a newspaper report on what BJP did to demolish Babri Masjid," he added.

Former Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi, who is also named by the report as responsible for the demolition, claimed that this was selective leakage.

"Entire report should be tabled in the House," he said.

Another BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed the newspaper report saying it lacked credibility.

"Naming Vajpayee and giving a clean chit of Narasimha Rao is only a sign of lacking credibility. A formal reaction will come from us only when it is tabled in Parliament. We will not react on media reports," said Prasad.

Reacting to the media reports, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: "One cannot react to press reports. This has to be a property of Parliament when the session is on,"

"When you stand there in tears and say that you condemn it, the principal accused stand there with your workers demolishing and dancing away to glory. UPA could have tabled it long ago. We are letting the process take its own time. There is no vendetta involved and nobody can comment on it before its tabled," he added. (ANI)

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