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Vajpayee, Advani, Joshi had no role in demolition: Centre

June 30, 2003 17:07 IST

The Centre told the Liberhan Commission on Monday that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani and Human Resources Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi did not have any role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

"The sadhus and sants were the leaders of the Ayodhya movement. Joshi, Advani, Vajpayee and other leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party were supporting the movement and their approach had always been finding out a meeting ground to create a consensus for the construction of Ram temple," Centre's counsel Lala Ram Gupta said in his written submission before the Commission.

The affidavit comes ten days after Singh had alleged that the demolition was done under the directions of Vajpayee, Advani, Joshi and senior Sangh Parivar leaders.

The counsel was elaborating on the roles of Advani, who at the time of the demolition on December 6, 1992 was the leader of opposition in Parliament, and Joshi, the then president of the BJP.

Quoting statements of witnesses, including Mark Tully of the BBC, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal, Mahant Ramachandra Paramhans Dass, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief K S Sudershan and BJP leader Uma Bharti, he said remarks of Advani during the Ayodhya campaign were never anti-Muslim or provocative.

Taking an excerpt from the book The Saffron Swastika penned by Polish author Koenraad Elst he said, "During the Ayodhya campaign, its leader L K Advani was never caught in the act of making a single anti-Muslim remark."

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