Why link Ram Mandir with elections? PM Modi questions Kapil Sibal

Sibal Swamy

BJP, Cong joust in public court

He was responding toAmit Shah's latching on to lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal's plea for deferring hearing the Ramjanambhoomi dispute case till after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and asking party Vice President Rahul Gandhi to clear the Congress stand on the Ram temple issue.

Earlier, Haji Mehboob from the Sunni Waqf Board, the petitioner in the case, clarified his stand on the issue by saying that the board has nothing to do with Sibal's statement even though he is representing them in the matter.

The apex court today rejected Sibal's submission that the hearing in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute be put off till the next general election as the atmosphere was not conducive.

Earlier on Wednesday, statements from Haji Mehboob, a member of the Sunni Waqf board which is a defendant in the Babri Masjid case, has been cited in the media as supporting a speedy resolution to the case.

"The Sunni Waqf Board must be congratulated for their fearless stand on the matter and disassociating themselves from the statement of Kapil Sibal ji", the PM was quoted as saying by ANI. Shameful posturing by Congress on Ram Temple issue!

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However, the demand was brushed aside by the court as it fixed February 8, 2018, for commencing a final hearing in the case. Thus, the question of an out-of-court settlement in which the Sunni Waqf Board gives up its claims fully or partially over the site of the Babri Masjid remains out of the question.

To this, the bench retorted: "You say it should not be heard ever only because it was not heard in last seven years". The special apex court bench is hearing a total of 14 appeals filed against the high court judgment in four civil suits.

The submission was supported by Dave who said the court should not fall into a "trap". The same has been said by the law minister many times. "Is such thinking proper", the Prime Minister asked while addressing a rally in Gujarat's Dhandhuka.

"Now Congress links Ram Mandir with elections".

"We are glad the Congress is not seeking postponement of 2019 polls due to fear of losing them by a wide margin", he said.

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