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Cong., Left attack U.P. affidavit

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI. NOV. 17. The Uttar Pradesh Government's affidavit in the Supreme Court in the Babri Masjid case has raised the hackles of its allies and opponents alike.

The Congress spokesperson, S. Jaipal Reddy, said here today that the party was prepared to give the State Government time to change its stand. He, however, made it clear that his party reserved the right to review its support to the Government if it found that "Union Ministers L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and others have been let off the hook". His remarks came in the wake of reports that the Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, had removed the standing counsel for having filed an affidavit supporting the second chargesheet of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) described the stand of the Mulayam Singh Government that there was no conspiracy by any political party, in order to justify the dropping of charges of conspiracy in the Babri Masjid demolition case, as "surprising and very unfortunate".

In a statement, the CPI (M) politburo referred to the earlier stand of the Samajwadi Party against the dilution of the original chargesheet and for bringing the culprits to book. "The present affidavit is contrary to this stand taken so far." The party also came out in favour of the trial on the basis of the original chargesheet.

The Communist Party of India said that all secular democratic sections in the country were at a "loss to understand" the Uttar Pradesh Government's change in stand. "If what is reported in the press is true, it is condemnable and also contrary to the position hitherto taken by the Samajwadi Party itself," it said.

The Bahujan Samaj Party accused Mr. Mulayam Singh of trying to bail out the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership. "The affidavit has exposed the real face of the Chief Minister, he is bending over backwards to give the BJP and its leaders a clean chit," the senior BSP MP, Rashid Alvi, said.

Displaying a copy of the affidavit, Mr. Alvi pointed out that the State Government had absolved the BJP of playing any part in the conspiracy to demolish the Babri Masjid, and had also gone back on its demand that the case be tried in the court of the Special Judge in Lucknow. The BSP leader also found fault with the State Government for submitting before the Court that no political pressure had been applied on the CBI.

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