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.
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
Prithviraj Chavan, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s
Office, also ran toward the agitated MPs but could not defuse the
Then, abruptly, Amar Singh turned around and walked back to his seat
shouting “Ya Ali”.
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
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
“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
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
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.”