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Bannerjee panel set up to help guilty: BJP

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Reiterating its demand for the resignation of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad after the Gujarat High Court held the constitution of the U.C. Bannerjee Committee illegal, the BJP on Saturday accused the UPA Government of subverting the constitutional process for pursuing its political agenda and playing with the basic tenets of federalism.

Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said the judgment made it clear that the interim report of the Bannerjee Committee on the Godhra train tragedy, released just before the Bihar elections, was a "colourable exercise" and pointed to a "mala fide action."

The UPA Government appointed the committee to ensure "desired findings" from a so-called independent agency for helping those guilty of the Godhra carnage and in its quest "used a retired Supreme Court judge for its political game plan."

Mr. Javadekar said the POTA Review Committee had also confirmed POTA charges against all the accused and even the Supreme Court refused to grant them bail. It also stayed the UPA Government's efforts to give relief to the accused by appointing a zonal POTA review committee.

The BJP termed the findings of the Bannerjee Committee "illogical, absurd and devoid of common sense suggesting that kar sevaks had committed mass suicide" by starting a fire inside their own compartment of the Sabarmati Express.

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