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Rao snubs BJP stand on Masjid demolition 

Deposing before the Liberhan Commission on 27 Feb. former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao criticised the BJP’s ideological justification, in the party’s white papers (WP) for demolition of the Babri Masjid.

When the Commission’s counsel drew Rao’s attention to five points in the BJP’s WP under the heading ‘‘The historical and immediate provocation’’, the former Prime Minister’s immediate response was: ‘‘Straightaway I can tell you I don’t agree with any one of these.’’ 

On Hindu resentment to pseudo-secularists, Rao remarked, ‘‘This is totally wrong. Either we are secular or non-secular. There is nothing called pseudo-secular. If minorities are given certain rights, it is according to the Constitution.’’

To the second BJP justification — allergy of the most parties to Hinduism is behind the resentment — Rao said, ‘‘Absurd. But for the support of Hindus, other parties would have never come to power in states and the Centre.’’ 

Rao also scoffed at the third justification that the Babri Masjid was a victory monument. ‘‘Invasion took place all over north India. So there is no point saying there is one monument to represent 250 years,’’ he explained.

Rao also did not believe that pseudo-secular parties have ignored the truth in Ayodhya. ‘‘If anyone has done it, it is the BJP,’’ Rao said.

Rao also made it clear that the structure in Ayodhya was a mosque. Gupta referred to the BJP statement that the Congress government, by calling the mosque at Ayodhya a ‘‘structure’’ in its WP, has conceded a vital point. Rao retorted, ‘‘What do you think it was? A dwelling unit? Of course, it was a mosque.’’

Asked if the BJP’s rath yatra was its answer to VP Singh’s ‘Mandal’, Rao had entire commission laughing. ‘‘Rath yatra also started when VP Singh was the Prime Minister. Then ‘Mandal’ came. We thought it was cooperative movement. Second, I don’t know if there was a cleavage or not.”
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