Madhav Godbole, the Union Home Secretary in 1992 said on Monday said that there was a proposal to impose President’s rule and invoke Article 355 in Uttar Pradesh when the Babri Masjid was demolished and protect the mosque. By invoking Article 356, the Central government can take over state government after obtaining consent from President of India. Article 355 of the Constitution of India states that it is duty of the Union to protect every state against external or internal aggression.
Godbole was speaking about his recently published book which talks about the Ayodhya issue. He said that they had sent a proposal through which Centre, which then had Congress government led by P V Narasimha Rao, would take over the mosque and be in charge of protecting it.
He further blamed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for not having the will to find a solution.
M Godbole: Rajiv Gandhi went to extent of opening locks of Babri masjid, ceremony for laying the foundation stone of temple was done during his time as PM, therefore I have called him 2nd karsevak of the movement, first was the District Magistrate who allowed all this to begin. https://t.co/gEwLCoGiwb
— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2019
Labelling ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as ‘second Karsevak’ (someone who offers services for religious work) for ordering to open the locks of Babri Masjid in 1986, Godbole said that Rajiv Gandhi was ‘not interested’ and even let the ‘Shilanyas’ (laying of foundation stone) take place. He said that if Rajiv Gandhi was the first Karsevak, the district magistrate under whose watch that happened, was the second Karsevak.
Godbole, whose book “The Babri Masjid – Ram Mandir Dilemma: An Acid Test for India’s Constitution” was released in August his year, is a former IAS officer and home secretary of India. He was part of the team which made a contingency plan to tackle the Ayodhya dispute. In 1993, 18 months before his retirement was due, he took voluntary retirement considering the failure of then Congress government to tackle the dispute.
The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict on or before 17th November on Ram Janmabhoomi case.