Cong must clear its stand on Ram Mandir: Amit Shah

Sibal Swamy

Sibal had in the apex court said that the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute should be heard after the 2019 general elections, which triggered a major political storm.

Addressing BJP workers during his Gujarat election campaign in Dahod, Modi said, "The Sunni Waqf Board must be congratulated for their courageous stand and for disassociating themselves from the statement of Kapil Sibal".

Under attack, Sibal claimed he did not represent the Sunni Waqf Board in the Ayodhya case in the Supreme Court, and mounted a counteroffensive against Modi, saying he should have checked the facts before criticising him. I do not know on whose behalf the counsel for the Muslims appearing in the apex court, Kapil Sibal, had stated this.

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Sibal had, yesterday, demanded for the next hearing in the case to be held only in July 2019 after the completion of the next Lok Sabha polls, citing political ramifications.

The Congress had distanced itself from Sibal's stand in the Supreme Court.

One of the appellants in the title suit, Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board earlier today said it wanted speedy justice in the case and was not in favour of shifting the hearing till after the 2019 general elections.

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The High court, in 2010, had decided that the disputed land of 2.77 acre will be divided in three-way among the parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and the Lord Ram Lalla.

On the campaign trail in Gujarat, Modi recalled how his government made a decision to oppose "triple talaq" in the Supreme Court risking a possible backlash in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Congress leader Anand Sharma said that Prime Minister was diverting the issue from lack of development in Gujarat. "Now, the Congress links Ram mandir with the elections. No such directive had been given by the board", Chairman of the Sunni Waqf Board Zafar Farooqui said in Lucknow. "Congress should clear its stand on this", he said. The same has been said by the Law Minister many times.

"As far as Ram Mandir is concerned (Modiji), it will be built when Lord Ram wants it to be built", said Sibal. Reacting swiftly to BJP president Amit Shah's allegations on the Congress's stand on Ram temple in Ayodhya, Randeep Surjewala and Pawan Khera, the national spokespersons of the Congress, said that the Congress stand on the Ram temple was similar to the BJP's - the readiness to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court.

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