Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Sunday made a scathing attack on former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, saying his role in the 1992 demolition of Babri Masjid far outweighed his contribution to economic reforms, which in turn had led to his being denied a place in Congress history.
“We have a very blinkered view of Narasimha Rao. He may have started economic reforms, but was the one responsible for what happened at Babri Masjid. He proved that death is not a necessary precondition for rigor mortis to set in,” Aiyar said.
He was speaking at a function to launch journalist Rasheed Kidwai’s second book, 24, Akbar Road, on the people behind the fall and rise of the Congress party in the past three decades.
Aiyar had the audience in splits when he chose to describe the Congress as a dharamshala and a mela (fair), where persons of all hue and thinking were not only welcome but able to co-exist while seeking to climb up the political ladder. On the shifting power equations in the party, he said only the “hopeless” now made their way to 24, Akbar Road, the Congress headquarters since the real power lay elsewhere. “Those who have the link, go to 10, Janpath (Sonia Gandhi’s residence) and others who don’t have access there, go to 23, Willingdon Crescent (residence of Ahmad Patel, the political secretary to the Congress president)” he said, adding only those without connections at the right places went to 24, Akbar Road.