BJP to have battery of leaders to discuss Liberhan report

BJP to have battery of leaders to discuss Liberhan report

But it is still unclear whom the Congress would line up and whether Rahul Gandhi would lead the ruling side in the attack on BJP and the Sangh Parivar on the issue.

For BJP, its Deputy Leader Sushma Swaraj will open the debate in the Lower House, while Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley will take up the task in the Upper House.

During the Assembly election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi had remarked that if someone from the Gandhi family had been at the helm of affairs in 1992, the demolition of Babri Masjid would not have taken place.

Asked whether Gandhi would participate in the discussions, a senior party leader said these were still early days and the party has not yet finalised its speakers in the debate. "We will, however, not be found wanting on this score", he remarked.

Meanwhile, the BJP is reportedly flooded with requests from its MPs in both the Houses as there is a attachment to the issue, which changed their political fortunes in the 1980s and catapulted them to power in the 1990s.

Lalji Tandon, who was BJP state unit president in 1992 when the disputed structure at Ayodhya was demolished, has expressed his desire to speak. The senior leaders, including Swaraj and Jaitley, have been instructed to do their homework well in reading the 900-odd page report and give a comprehensive presentation in Parliament.

Advani, who is indicted in the report, has told his senior colleagues that he will speak only if he feels some important points have not been included by his party leaders in their speeches. He is likely to speak during the last phase of the opposition's presentation and before the government reply.

The BJP MPs are aware that RSS, which has also been indicted, would be keenly watching the performance of the party leaders in Parliament during the debate. The growing hold of RSS on BJP means MPs would not like to be found lagging behind in defending the Sangh. Murli Manohar Joshi, who was BJP president at the time and has been indicted by Liberhan Commission, has not yet expressed his desire to speak.

The Liberhan Commission report debate will be held on December 1 and 2 in Lok Sabha and start on December 2 in Rajya Sabha.

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