23 May 2006 # PTI
Pune: Former Prime Minister late Narasimha Rao's claim that he was made a scapegoat in the Babri Masjid demolition episode has been strongly refuted by the then Union Home Secretary Madhav Godbole.
"Narasimha Rao in his book 'Ayodhya, 6 December 1992' claimed that he was made a scapegoat in the Babri Masjid demolition episode. This cannot be true especially for a leader of Rao's stature," he said on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of International Book Service.
"It was a clear case of indecision. Inspite of all Constitutional powers available at the discretion of the Prime Minister, he failed to implement them and save the structure," he said.
Godbole said that President's Rule should have been invoked under Article 356.
"The book is silent on many aspects, including the cause for not invoking Article 356 even though the situation in Uttar Pradesh was getting out of hand," he said.
According to Godbole, the Union Home Ministry had contigency plans ready to tackle any eventuality. Central Forces were kept on standby and were ready to move in at any time as soon as the PMO approved.
But the approval never came, and the demolition occurred in broad day light, he added.