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New Delhi, Dec. 5: 
The breach within the Opposition was underlined more sharply today when the BJP and the Samajwadi Party made common cause to attack the Congress for its alleged role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

While the Congress managed to get both Houses adjourned on the Ayodhya issue, it became the target of a combined BJP-Samajawadi attack outside.

The BJP said it was ready to have another discussion on Ayodhya in the Lok Sabha if the resignation of the chargesheeted ministers was not demanded. The Samajwadi insisted on a discussion focusing on the Congress’ “role” in the demolition.

Samajwadi general secretary Amar Singh said: “Congress leader and chief of its minorities cell, Arjun Singh, went to Lucknow on December 2, 1992, (two days before the masjid was demolished) to visit the disputed site in Ayodhya. He spent time in the august company of Kalyan Singh (then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh), obtained his sanction for a guard for his close aide, Zafar Ali Naqvi, showered praise on his administrative ability and even said Babri Masjid was safe under Kalyan Singh.”

BJP spokesman V.K. Malhotra accused the Congress of raising the issue repeatedly to “plunge the nation into the flames of communal hatred by arousing communal sentiments”. This “effort”, Malhotra added, may jeopardise the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Just when the Centre is paving the ground for peace talks through the ceasefire initiative, the Congress decides on rem- inding the people of Kashmir about the Ayodhya episode,” he said.

Although the BJP MPs agreed to have a discussion on Ayodhya if the Opposition wanted it, they felt the demand for the resignation of L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti was “baseless”.

“They made it clear that the demand for the ministers’ resignations should not be part of any motion,” said Malhotra.

The MPs, he said, were of the opinion that a discussion in the House would “expose” the Congress because it was under Congress governments that the locks of the mosque were opened and the shilanyas performed.

Malhotra also reminded that Rajiv Gandhi kicked off his 1989 election campaign from Faizabad with the promise of ushering in Ram Rajya in a bid to “compete” with the BJP.

Amar Singh insisted on a “threadbare” discussion on the Congress’ “involvement” as it would expose not just the “communal and fascist forces (the BJP) but the political weathercocks too”.

“We also want the BJP to be taken to task, but the Samajwadi Party will not allow any camouflage of historical facts. The primary responsibility of the demolition lies with the BJP and RSS but the Congress’ collaboration cannot be ruled out. If they did not commit any crime why did the Congress apologise to the minorities?” he asked.