Atal was sorry for Babri demolition

Atal was sorry for Babri demolition

And this was also one of the reasons whey the “right man in the wrong party”, as he was often dubbed by Opposition leaders, was able to find acceptability beyond party line even as sometimes he crossed the redlines within his own party.

And he did cross the redlines a few times.  At the height of post Godhra riots in Gujarat, Vajpayee addressing a press conference with Narendra Modi, then Gujarat Chief Minister, asked him to follow 'Rajdharma' when asked by a reporter what message he had for the Chief Minster. The remark continues to haunt the BJP as Opposition parties repeatedly refer to it to brow beat the ruling BJP dispensation and the Prime Minister.

“I have one message for the Chief Minister - he should follow Rajdharma. Rajdharma is a very relevant word for a king, for a ruler. There is no difference among people (praja), neither on the basis of birth, nor on caste and community (sampraday) lines. I am also following it, trying to follow it,” he had said. He later added, “I am confident that Narendrabhai is doing exactly that,” after Modi interjected,  “I am doing the same sahib.”

This was not the only occasion when Vajpayee spoke his mind.

After the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, Vajpayee told news channel NDTV in an interview that what happened on that particular day was “very unfortunate”.

Sorry for Babri

“We tried to protect that structure but could not. We are sorry for that,” he said. When asked why they could not succeed, "It should not have happened,” Vajpayee said, “because a section of Karsevaks went out of control and they did something that was not to be done.  A clear assurance was given that no damage will be allowed to the disputed structure and that assurance was not kept.”

Earlier, after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and the Indo-Pakistan war, Vajpayee, then a leader of Jansangh, was unstinted in his praise of then Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.