PM Narendra Modi, at a rally in poll-bound Gujarat, said, “Now the Congress links the Ram Mandir with elections. They are least bothered about the nation.”
DHANDHUKA, GUJARAT: After BJP chief Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attacked the Congress over its leader Kapil Sibal’s plea in the Supreme Court to defer hearing in the Ayodhya case till after the 2019 parliamentary elections. The court rejected the plea.
“Now the Congress links the Ram Mandir with elections. They are least bothered about the nation,” PM said while addressing an election rally in Gujarat, where the first phase of assembly elections will be held on Saturday. The Prime Minister said that while Mr. Sibal, “was arguing – which is his right- for the Babri Masjid, is it right for him to say postpone hearing till 2019? Why does he have to link Ram Mandir with elections? Is this thinking proper?”
Kapil Sibal, who is also a lawyer, was representing the Sunni Waqf Board in the Supreme Court on Tuesday when he requested judges to postpone hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute till after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, arguing that the BJP has said “the Ram temple will be built before 2019 through legal means… They want to make it part of their election manifesto and the court should not fall into the trap.”
The Supreme Court rejected his appeal and said it would begin final hearings from February 8 on a batch of petitions which have challenged a 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit, which divided the disputed site in three parts — one each for Hindu group Nirmohi Akhara, the Ram Lalla or infant Lord Ram represented by Hindu Mahasabha, and the Sunni Waqf Board which handles properties owned by Sunni Muslims. All parties have challenged that verdict in court.
The Congress has distanced itself from Mr. Sibal’s comments, saying “who he represents in court is Kapil Sibal’s personal matter. The Congress has nothing to do with it.” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also said his party’s stand “has always been clear, that the Ayodhya case will be decided by Supreme Court.”
He was responding to BJP chief Amit Shah’s attack on the Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi over Mr. Sibal’s comments. The BJP, Mr. Shah said, is clear it wants the dispute resolved at the soonest and “the Supreme Court should give a judgment and a grand Ram temple should be built in Ayodhya.”
“I appeal to the future Congress president — please clear your stand on the issue,” Amit Shah said, also adding, “On the one hand, temples are being visited ahead of elections. On the other hand, they are the trying to delay the hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi case. The Congress has double standards on the issue.”
He was referring to Rahul Gandhi’s frequent visits to temples during his campaign for the Gujarat elections. The BJP has accused Mr. Gandhi of trying to woo the state’s Hindu voters by visiting temples, alleging that he is unaccustomed t16th-century
The 16th-century Babri mosque was demolished in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, 25 years ago today by Hindu karsevaks or volunteers who claimed that it was built where a temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram had stood. About 2,000 people were killed in the deadly riots that foMasjid the Babri Masjid demolition.
News Credit: NDTV