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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 02:50:46 PM, ummidcom & Agencies

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New Delhi: An unseemly brawl over a religious slogan disrupted the Rajya Sabha after Home Minister P. Chidambaram tabled the report of the Liberhan Commission that probed the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid.


As the home minister read out a statement tabling the report, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs broke out into cries of “Jai Shri Ram”. This appeared to anger Samajwadi Party (SP) general secretary Amar Singh, who got up and advanced menacingly toward Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) S.S Ahluwalia, waving his right hand at him and objecting to the slogans.

 

The SP leader seemingly tried to push Ahluwalia but was in turn violently pushed back. Opposition members immediately rushed to push the two apart and in the process, some of them got into their own scuffles.

 

Prithviraj Chavan, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, also ran toward the agitated MPs but could not defuse the situation.

 

Then, abruptly, Amar Singh turned around and walked back to his seat shouting “Ya Ali”.

 

In the midst of all this, Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan adjourned the house till 2 p.m. This was the third adjournment of the house since morning — the first time over the Ranganath Misra Commission report on reservations for Dalit Muslims and Christians and then over the corruption scam involving former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda.

 

As tempers cooled in the house, Ahluwalia looked toward Amar Singh and remarked: “Kamaal hai, Musalmanon ko bachane ke liye, ek Sikh ko maar rahe ho (How ironic, to save Muslims you are beating up a Sikh).”

 

The analogy was apt as both are minority communities.

 

Amar Singh later said he was prepared to apologise to Ahluwalia.

 

“I had only gone to protest, he was the one who pushed me. He is like my brother. I am prepared to apologise to him,” he told reporters in parliament house.

 

Congress and BJP MPs condemned the incident.

 

“What happened in the house was very unfortunate. The dignity of the house has been degraded and it is very painful. Elder members of the Samajawadi Party and the BJP were behaving like children,” said Rashid Alvi of the Congress.

 

BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudi said: “It was a mockery of the house. Whatever happened is not acceptable. It’s an insult to the nation and democracy. Such incidents tarnish the image of political leaders. I really feel insulted.”

 

Earlier in the morning, the Justice Liberhan Commission Report on Babri Masjid demolition and Action Taken Report (ATR) on it was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

 

The UPA government gave in to the Opposition’s demand to immediately table the Liberhan Commission report in Parliament. To this end, a meeting of the Union Cabinet was convened on Tuesday morning to approve the ATR that was tabled along with the Liberhan Commission report. The decision was taken after consultations with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is in Washington.

 

The government was initially reluctant to accept the Opposition's demand given the fact that the Commission’s report was yet to be translated into Hindi and there was only one copy of the report available. It, however, decided to go ahead given the apprehension that the Opposition would continue to stall proceedings of the House on the issue. The Opposition’s demand came after The Indian Express’s story on the findings of the Liberhan Commission on Monday.

 

Meanwhile, amid controversy over “leakage” of the Liberhan Commission report, the Congress on Monday attacked the Opposition party saying that “the guilt and culpability” for the demolition of Babri Masjid lay with “the BJP and its affiliates”.

 

“Events leading to December 6, 1992, played out in full public view and culminated in the conviction of Kalyan Singh for misleading the court. Perceptionally, the issue in the minds of the people is already settled as to who is responsible and who is guilty. Perceptionally, the issue is already settled as far as guilt and culpability is concerned. It lies primarily with the BJP and its affiliates,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters.

 

Prior to this in the day, Home Minister P Chidambaram said in both Houses that the report would be tabled during the current session and pointed out that since Justice M S Liberhan had submitted the report on June 30, the Government was required to place it before the two Houses together with the ATR within six months from that date. Chidambaram said he would “refrain from commenting on the correctness or otherwise of the contents of the news story.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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