‘Let law take its course’: Congress guarded in its response to SC order on Babri Masjid demolition case

The defeat in UP has triggered a debate within the Congress on the need for nuancing its pronouncements on “potentially divisive” issues.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: April 20, 2017 11:23 am
Babri Masjid, Babri Masjid trial, ram janam bhoomi, ram janam bhoomi trial, babri sc, babri supreme court, l k advani, supreme court, Murli Manohar Joshi, uma bharti, uma bharti trial, murli trial, advani trial, indian express news The Supreme Court. (File Photo)

The Congress was guarded in its response to the Supreme Court order Wednesday restoring criminal conspiracy charges against BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Congress leaders appeared apprehensive about the fallout of the verdict as it has brought the Ram temple issue back into focus. The Left parties, in contrast, were aggressive in demanding the resignation of Bharti.

Although individual Congress leaders showed initial signs of jubilation at the order, with some calling for Bharti’s resignation, the party gave a carefully crafted official reaction by the end of the day. The sense in the party was that the BJP could utilise the issue to “polarise” and the party “should not walk into the trap”.

The defeat in UP has triggered a debate within the Congress on the need for nuancing its pronouncements on “potentially divisive” issues. A section of the Congress leaders had been arguing the party should try to dispel what they called a “perception” that it has a pro-Muslim tilt.

At the AICC briefing, the party did not make any suo motu statement on the court verdict, nor did it demand Bharti’s resignation upfront. In response to questions, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “When the Supreme Court has given a detailed judgment, then there is nothing more to add or subtract. The Supreme Court has said that law is for binding on all and we believe the law should take its course.”

Asked about calls for Bharti’s resignation, he said, “The prime minister has been waxing eloquent about morality. He talks about morality all the time. So after this judgment, his words would be now put to test. We leave it to the wisdom of the prime minister… on how he morally reacts to the Supreme Court’s detailed judgment.”

The Congress, however, reacted sharply when asked about Bharti’s remarks that Sonia Gandhi was at Rajiv Gandhi’s home when the 1984 Sikh riots happened and her question whether that means Sonia was part of the conspiracy. “The Supreme Court decision has rattled the honorable minister. And therefore she is trying to shoot from the hip and I don’t think such a reprehensible and preposterous remark needs to be even dignified with a comment,” Tewari said.

Reacting to the judgment earlier in the day, Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala had said, “The Supreme Court has spoken. Let justice be done and the guilty punished.” Congress leader Kapil Sibal expressed satisfaction with the order. “As far as other issues are concerned, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is always very committed to the cause of morality,” Sibal said. “Those are his public pronouncements. Occasionally, he forgets morality when it comes to his ministers. Let us hope he doesn’t forget this time.”

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  1. R
    rameshnk
    Apr 20, 2017 at 10:14 am
    What morals Scamgress has to comment?. The party that got Shah Bano case cancelled shows the partys commitment and where it stands? Evry body knows that it bothers little for Hindus and spares no opportunity to appease Christians and Muslims. But the rectn UP elections have given a final warning to all such so called sicular parites. Do not take the Hindu majority for granted .Also these sick parties should remeber that the days of a show of appea t is gone. Even the s oc alled minorites have also realised that these sick parties are only after votes and bnothing else. So it is a duble whammy for such sick parites- Neither the majority trusts them and the minoties have seen thro their game. The days of scamgressis are over.
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    1. S
      Sudarshan Nityananda
      Apr 20, 2017 at 9:07 am
      Quite appropriate comment by Sibal on the morality show being put on by the PM. He is right that in "special cases" , morality is given the go-by to favour certain persons.
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      1. I
        Ivan
        Apr 20, 2017 at 8:38 am
        Manesh Tiwari a highly intelligent man, who never puts his foot wrong should be the man to lead the Congress Party.
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        1. I
          Ivan
          Apr 20, 2017 at 8:15 am
          The Congress should just sit on the sidelines. It has nothing to gain by taking one side or the other. For the sake of the mindless Muslim vote bank, Congress gave too many hostages to fortune during the decades long Ayodhya issue and the issue of reservations. But the Muslims in the North have not reciprocated preferring instead to support the regional parties with an obvious pro-Muslim bias. Congress has sacrificed too much for the Muslim vote. It should concentrate on being a centrist, truly secular party for all like-minded Indians including Indian Muslims.
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            rameshnk
            Apr 20, 2017 at 10:18 am
            Mr.Ivan to who do you give your advice? For scamgressis first it is their person, family, relatives etc and then the country, people etc. Right from a corporator to the highest office scamgress is are rotten corrupt. They will sell their mothers for the sake of persoanl wealth and power. The sooner this party is totally s ped and a new leadership emerges, there is no hope for this party
            Reply