Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday said it was a “fatal political error” from Narasimha Rao government not to bring Babri Masjid under the Centre’s control despite strong evidence revealing threats for the shrine. He also said he would not describe the incident as a judgmental error and as a result of the it Rao lost the trust in the party.
Talking at a panel discussion on ‘Narasimha Rao: The Forgotten Hero’ at the Tata Literature Live festival, Chidambaram said: “A lot of people had warned Narasimha Rao… the mosque was under threat. Our government had issued a statement that under no circumstances would we allow the mosque to be demolished. If necessary, we would station the military, the paramilitary forces.”
“Stones were being carried from as far as Rameshwaram and they were travelling by trains. Whole trains were being booked. Everybody knew that lakhs of people would assemble. Threat to Babri Masjid was a real threat which had been there from at least 1987-88,” he added.
Former Minister said that Rao should have made sure the Babri Masjid area is under Central government by deploying paramilitary forces and army.
“But the failure to position the paramilitary and (the failure) to say that the area was under the control of the Central government was a fatal political error, and the consequences since then for the country have been disastrous,” Chidambaram said.
“The evidence was piling up everyday. We all knew that there were programmes being held to bid farewell to the karsevaks. Anyone with a political judgement could have said there was a grave danger to the mosque. Where did the pick axes, hammers come from?” he added.