Justice M S Liberhan Commission set up 17 years ago to probe the 1992 desecration of the 16th Century Babri Masjid finally submitted its report to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday - not the best time for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to deal with the controversy again after its defeat in polls, reports Indian media.
The commission has made observations about senior BJP politicians - and some who were in the party during the mosques demolition by a mob of Hindu militants - in its report. It has examined the role of senior BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and L K Advani in the demolition of the mosque.
The commission has also probed former BJP leader Uma Bharti, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal, who is accused of inciting people to demolish the mosque, and Kalyan Singh, who was the BJP Chief Minister of UP in 1992.
The commission is also likely to comment on who incited kar sevaks on December 6, whether Kalyan Singh fulfilled his duties as chief minister and did the central government fail to protect the mosque.
The demolition of the mosque had triggered widespread communal riots in the country and led to the loss of many lives.
The commission took the longest period in the history of India for submitting the report to such an important incident. It got 48 extensions for preparing the report while it was mandated to submit report by March 16, 1993.
The Commission among others also recorded the statements of senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh.
Justice Liberhan on Tuesday refused to divulge the contents of his report. I cannot talk about the report at all. It is for the media to judge objectively, collect their facts, draw inferences and attribute, Liberhan told CNN-IBN. Communist Party of India leader D Raja also regretted the delay in the report. Its sad that the commission took so much time. The government should now table the report in parliament as soon as possible and tell the people of this country what actions they plan to initiate, he said.
But there are several unanswered questions:
* Why did it take nearly 17 years for the report to be ready?
* How culpable are the key figures - Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti and the VHP leadership - in the Babri demolition?
* Who exactly provoked kar sevaks, who made those fiery speeches that incited them on December 6, 1992?
* Was L K Advanis rath yatra directly responsible for inciting the kar sevaks?
* Did the then UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh turn the other way on December 6?
* Did the Narasimha Rao governments delay in reacting contribute to the demolition in any way?
The Congress alleged the BJPs reaction proved its guilt. Excessive protests by the BJP in advance reflects a guilty mind, said party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.
The Congress party spokesman said the government will take appropriate action on the report of Liberhan Commission.
Welcoming the report, the BJP said it was committed to building the Ram temple in Ayodhya but the party may soon be tested on its statement. The Hindu hardline party insisted that it was not apologetic for the Ram Janambhoomi movement.
There must be a constructive solution to the whole issue as Hindus across the globe want a grand temple be constructed at the disputed site. The BJP also wishes that a temple is constructed there, said party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi.
I definitely wanted the Ram temple to come up (in Ayodhya) and I definitely wanted that building to come down but not in that manner. But I am not apologetic and I am not going to apologise, said Bharati, who was the BJP leader when the mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992 by Hindu groups.