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For BJP, Liberhan turned the tables in Parliament

November 23, 2009 19:55 IST

Liberhan Commission's leaked report has turned all the attention away from the sugarcane issue that was kicking up a storm in Parliament.

The report said the panel had indicted the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

Political analysts think the BJP walked into a trap laid by the Congress government to destroy the Opposition's unprecedented unity over the sugarcane price.

There was uproar in the Lok Sabha, demanding tabling of the commission report. The Samajwadi Party, the Left and the Bahujan Samaj Party all backed the demand of the Opposition leaders, but none joined the BJP members' protest.

Clearly, the signal was that nobody wanted to be associated with the saffron party at his juncture.

Saying that he was shocked to find Vajpayee's name in the leaked report and describing it as a "maliciously planned false report", Advani said that it is sourced to the home ministry sources and hence the best for the home minister will be to table it in the House immediately to stop the mud-slinging against leaders like Vajpayee.

Chidambaram, in a deft move, declared that the report will be tabled, along with the Action Taken ReportĀ of the government, before the session ends.

Chidambaram, however, stoutly denied any leakage by his ministry claiming that there is only one copy and it is in "safe custody".

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, CPI-M group leader Basudeb Acharia, BSP group leader Dara Singh Chauhan and Biju Janata Dal leader Arjun Sethi backed Advani in questioning the report's leak and wanted it tabled immediately.

In the Rajya Sabha, CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury supported BJP leader Arun Jaitley to assert that the leaked report must have come either from the government or Liberhan Commission.

The home minister later asserted that the commission's report is in his custody. "There is only one copy of the report. It is in my custody... I must be a very foolish man to leak it and embarrass myself," he said.

Nobody from the BJP rose to challenge Chidambaram as to how the ATR will be ready before the end of the session.

Advani wondered why the government was sitting over the probe report that was submitted to the prime minister and should have been tabled in Parliament in July itself.

Chidambaram, however, refuted him, pointing out that the report was received only on June 30 and there is still time to table it in Parliament.

Alleging a political motive behind the leakage, Murli Manohar Joshi said: "The government should place the entire report in Parliament and then we will discuss it."

A Correspondent