Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the Sunni Waqf Board for disassociating itself from its lawyer Kapil Sibal’s contention that the hearing in the Supreme Court on the Ayodhya lawsuit over the title to the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site be deferred till July 2019.
“The Sunni Waqf Board must be congratulated for their brave stand on the matter and disassociating themselves from the statement of Kapil Sibal ji,” the PM was quoted as saying by ANI.
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.
“We have got nothing to do with his statement as we are not connected to any political party or do politics. Every Hindu and Muslim of the country wants a solution to the issue soon,” Haji was quoted as saying by ANI.
“Yes Kapil Sibal is our lawyer but he is also related to a political party, his statement in SC yesterday was wrong, we want a solution to the issue at the earliest,” he added.
On Wednesday, the hearing in the disputed matter turned into a political slugfest with lawyers for Muslim appellants, including senior counsel Kapil Sibal, questioning the “hurry” to hear the matter now and demanding that it be referred to a Constitution Bench and the hearing be put off till July 2019.
However, the Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer adjourned the hearing in the Ayodhya case for February 8, 2018. The stakeholders in the case had moved the top court after the Allahabad High Court directed the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Lord Ram Lalla to settle for a three-way division of the disputed site.
Meanwhile, on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of Gujarat elections, PM Modi focused his attack on Kapil Sibal for seeking deferment of the Ayodhya dispute till the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and panned Congress for linking the issue with polls.
“Yesterday in the Supreme Court, a Congress MP Kapil Sibal was arguing for the Babri Masjid. He is entitled to do that but is it right for him to say postpone hearing till 2019? Now, the Congress is linking Ram Mandir with elections. They are least bothered about the nation,” Modi said at a rally in Dhandhuka on Wednesday.
The prime minister continued to lambast Sibal at a rally in Dahod on Ram Temple issue. “There is a Congress leader, Shri Kapil Sibal. He was arguing on the Ram Temple issue, which he is entitled to do. But, he said in Court to hear the case after 2019. Why is he mixing Ram Temple and elections,” he said.