Following senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s arguments in the Supreme Court during the hearing of Ayodhya dispute case on Tuesday, BJP President Amit Shah has asked Rahul Gandhi to clarify his stand on the Ram Mandir issue.
Shah alleged that Sibal’s ‘bizarre’ arguments in the Supreme Court showed Congress’s double standards on the “Ram janmabhumi issue”.
Kapil Sibal, a senior lawyer who was also representing the Sunni Waqf Board in the apex court on Tuesday appealed that the court should defer hearing in the Ayodhya dispute case till the next Lok Sabha Elections in 2019.
He argued 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.”
Amit Shah, reacting to Sibal’s arguments, said “I appeal to the future Congress president—please clear your stand on the issue,” adding that “On the one hand, temples are being visited ahead of elections. On the other hand, they are trying to delay hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi case. The Congress has double standards on the issue.”
“The BJP demands that the case should be heard as soon as possible. The Supreme Court should give a judgment and a grand Ram temple should be built in Ayodhya,” Shah said.
The Congress, however, hit back at Shah and Party leader Randeep Surjewala said, his party’s official stand “has always been clear, that the Ayodhya case will be decided by Supreme Court.”
Distancing the party from Sibal’s arguments in the apex court, Surjewala said, “Who he represents in court is Kapil Sibal’s personal matter. The Congress has nothing to do with it,” and asked “Arun Jaitley ji represented the accused in Bhopal gas tragedy; does that mean whole of BJP is to be blamed?”
The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear the civil appeals filed by various parties challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on February 8 next year.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Najeeb also asked the Advocates on Record of appeals to sit together and ensure that all the requisite documents are translated, filed and numbered before the apex court Registry.
In case of any problem, the counsel were directed to consult the Registry.
The bench took serious note of the submission of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the parties, that the appeals be heard in July 2019 after completion of the next Lok Sabha polls as the atmosphere at present was not conducive.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, vehemently opposed contentions that the pleadings were not complete and asserted that everything has been complied with and the cases were ripe for hearing.
A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties—the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the deity, Ram Lalla.