Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Wednesday said his party was not a litigant in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, and would accept whatever decision the Supreme Court takes on it. He also suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi call Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who is representing the Sunni Waqf Board in the apex court in the Ayodhya case, over a cup of tea to discuss the issue.
Sharma’s statement comes a day after BJP chief Amit Shah asked the Congress to make its stand clear on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, after Sibal sought deferment of the hearing on the title dispute till the conclusion of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Earlier on Wednesday, Modi castigated Sibal for seeking deferment of hearing in the controversial case.
“Prime minister can call Kapil Sibalji to discuss the issue over a cup of tea. We, as Congress party, cannot comment on this because we are not part of the litigation,” Sharma told reporters.
“Congress is clear that the matter is before the Supreme Court and our party will support whatever the court says. The prime minister should decide if he is giving any direction to the Supreme Court?” Sharma said.
The former Union minister asked if the prime minister ever asked Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is also a lawyer, as to why he fought for Dow Chemicals, the American company responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy.
“Prime minister’s finance minister is also a lawyer, and his IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is also a lawyer. Has the prime minister ever asked his finance minister why he argued in favour of Dow Chemicals, which was responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy?
“Who was the lawyer of Ketan Parekh (main accused in the stock market scam in early 2000)? Does the BJP decide whose case his leaders will fight for?” he asked.
On Modi’s remark that the Congress had done “injustice” to Babasaheb Ambedkar, Sharma said, “BJP and RSS’ thoughts on Dalit revolution are known to all. They may have changed their minds today, but their thoughts are written in black ink on the pages of history”.
On Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel, Sharma said, “Sardar Patel was a Congress leader and a member of Congress Working Committee. Sardar Patel and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru were Gandhiji’s two followers. And Sardar was opposed to the ideology to which Modiji and Amit Shah belong…Narendra Modi is less than literate in India’s national movement and its history”.