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Leaked Liberhan Commission report ‘indicts’ Advani, triggers furore in House

Faced with angry protests from the Opposition over leak of the Liberhan Commission report, ‘indicting’ the Sangh Parivar for the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, the government will release the panel’s findings on Tuesday.

A meeting of the Cabinet has been called to discuss the issue on Tuesday and approve the Action Taken Report that is required to be submitted along with the report submitted by Justice M S Liberhan on June 30 — 17 years and several extensions after he was put on the job.

Union home minister P Chidambaram denied the charge that the government was behind the leak. However, the Congress leadership was forced to review its options after the Opposition refused to relent. The decision to fast-track the disclosure was taken in the evening by party chief Sonia Gandhi, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and other leaders who felt withholding the report would mean continued turmoil in Parliament where the entire Opposition joined hands, leaving Congress isolated.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in the US, is said to have endorsed the idea of swift disclosure after a consultation with Mukherjee who will preside over the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Though the Hindi translations of the report and the Action Taken Report are not ready yet, the government plans to get around the problem by taking the Opposition into confidence.

The leak wrongfooted the Congress which had planned to release the findings towards the close of the winter session ending on December 22, calculating that release before the anniversary of Babri demolition on December 6 could lead to communal tension, particularly in UP. Post-leak, however, it seems to feel that continued unrest in Parliament over an issue which caused unprecedented communal polarisation may frustrate the objective of delaying the release to minimise fresh social discord.

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