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BJP had not conceived demolition!

Deposing before the Liberhan Commission, Union Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi stated all that the party did was support the VHP's religious movement, reports Venkat Chitra

Union Human Resources Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi stated on 18 July in the Justice Liberhan Commission of Inquiry, set up to look into the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had never "conceived" the demolition of the mosque in Ayodhya.

All that the party did was to support the religious movement of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Parivar organizations, he claims.

Deposing before the commission, Joshi said, "The demolition was never, never, never even remotely conceived by us," and, "in all humility," he stated in his deposition that the demolition was never "in the minds of the party leadership".
"Destruction was never in our minds and all we said was that the dispute should be amicably settled, which meant that nothing or no harm should be done to the structure," he said.

He repeatedly stated that references were made on relocating the mosque to some other site, so that a temple could be constructed there, but it should be done only after a negotiated settlement, "through grand reconciliation or through legislation." "A negotiated settlement and a grand reconciliation (between the two communities) would help build a stronger country," he said.

"This grand reconciliation, resulting in the construction of a Ram temple, will eventually create a new, powerful and united India, which would therefore be a reconstruction of India," Joshi stated, during his deposition.
He denied that the "leaders of the Ayodhya movement", as he chose to describe them, had sent wrong signals to the kar sevaks in 1992, implying that they had never asked the kar sevaks to demolish the structure.

Joshi also said that he did not know whether the Bajrang Dal was organizing training camps for kar sevaks to demolish the structure during the relevant period.

He said that even if the court had validated the Uttar Pradesh government's acquisition of the 2.67 acres of land in and around the structure, or rejected it, the land would still have belonged to the VHP and the kar seva, he said, would in either case have been carried out on the site.

"If the 2.67 acre land area was free from any court order, then nothing could have prevented the construction on that land," Joshi said, denying having seen the site plan for construction.

Even the then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao had asked Faizabad MP Vinay Katiyar "whether there was any free land for starting kar seva there," Joshi vouchsafed in his deposition.

When Justice M S Liberhan, chairperson of the one-man commission, asked Joshi whether hatred was spread between the Hindus and the Muslims due to K Advani's rath yatra, Joshi said, "Even a number of Muslims participated in the programme and had gone to Ayodhya."

He said that judging by media reports, he came to the conclusion that "some political parties" were trying to drive a wedge between Hindus and Muslims ( 

Photo: Joshi and Uma Bharti:
celebrating an event ‘not conceived’

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