No regret over Babri Masjid demolition: RSS chief

Chandigarh: On the eve of the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Saturday that the Hindu group has "no regrets" about the razing of the mosque in Ayodhya 17 years ago.

Speaking at the Chandigarh Press Club, the RSS chief, responding to a question on whether the rightwing Hindu group regretted the demolition, said: "Afsos ka prashna hi nahin uthta (there is no question of any regrets)."

"We all want the Ram temple to be built there (Ayodhya). The RSS will always be associated with the Ram temple issue," Bhagwat said.

The 16th century Babri mosque was demolished by Hindu activists on December 6, 1992, triggering communal clashes in the country. Hindu groups claim the mosque was built after demolishing a temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram.

The RSS chief also questioned the credibility of the Liberhan Commission report on the Babri mosque demolition.

He said: "What has been said in the Liberhan report could have been said in 1993 also. There is a question mark over the credibility of the commission report. There are many factual errors in it."

"There was no conspiracy in the mosque demolition as pointed out by the Liberhan report. This is the truth," he said.

Asked if the image of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been dented by the indictment of top BJP leaders by the Liberhan report, Bhagwat said: "The BJP will have to resolve the issue of its image."

RSS does not run the BJP

"We don't run the BJP, which is an independent political outfit. We also don't have the time to run it," Bhagwat said addressing a 'meet-the-press' programme here.

He, however, clarified that if BJP seeks help on any constructive issue, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is always ready to help.

On several queries on the BJP leadership issue, Bhagwat said it is BJP's internal matter and hoped the political party will resolve it.

"To decide on who will be the next president of BJP is their prerogative," he said.

When asked whether the RSS was keen to have the next BJP chief from outside Delhi, he said, "This is not true, but infact this had been communicated to us by them (the BJP)..we dont know who their next head will be".

On the charges that the organisation indulged in "moral policing", Bhagwat said there was no truth in this. "After India became Independent, we have always submitted ourselves to the law of the land though we have our own ideology and we follow that".

When asked to make a choice between BJP and the Congress, he said, "We are not to make this judgment. This choice is made by the people whenever the elections are held."