LUCKNOW: In a move which Threatens to turn into an open confrontation with the Center Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh has flatly refused to answer any more of its queries on the Ram Janma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid issue Singh told newsperson  here that the questions being asked by the Center were unrelated to the brief provided to the team of MPs and National Integration Council (NIC) members which visited Ayodhya on April 7.

If the Center wants any information” the Chief Minister said “it can depute an officer who can get certified copies of the Mandir Masjid case from the courts.” He said the NIC-MPs team was deviating from the main objective with which that visited Ayodhya. It-was only supposed to look into the security of the disputed structure. Instead he complained it was virtually acting as a court of law by asking for various documents.“ object to this tamasha” Singh said. Moreover he pointed out the team of MPS was not a representative body of Parliament.

The State Government” he declared” has its own sovereignty. It is not a subordinate of the Center. The entre character of the federal structure will be affected and cracks will appear if the dignity of the State Government is not maintained.” He added that the State Government was not answerable to the Center on every issue. “They can go to court if they feel there has been a violation of any court order.”

Singh said he feared the team was going to submit a one-sided and biased report on the Ayodhya tangle. Justifying his decision not to answer any more queries he said he did not want to give the Center a chance to claim that the report of the MPs team whenever it is submitted was based on documents supplied by the State Government.

Singh said the Center had so far asked a total of 58 questions on the Ayodhya tangle. Besides religiously replying to all the queries from April 8 onwards the Chief Minister said the State Government had given a 15-pointreply to the central team. On April 8 the Union Home Ministry in a fax message to the State sought a reply on 24 points which was sent the very next day.

Then I received another fax message on April 13 asking for more documents.” The final query came on April 21 Singh said and added “I have decided not to give replies to any more queries by the Center.” In reply t0 a question Singh said he hoped that the Union Home Minister would not make any further statement about in evoking Article 356 on dismissing the State Government as he had done in Parliament earlier.

The Chief Minister classified the nature of the questions into eight broad categories Documents and court orders on the Ram Janma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid issue right from the beginning the site plan of the 2.774 acres land acquired by the State Government documents related to the cases pending in course of aw the nature of the puja being carried on in the Mandir the report by the Survey Commission copies of the Nazul and Khasra records under consideration in court.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 8, 1996