THE CONGRESS party on Friday reacted cautiously to the Supreme Court decision to set up a mediation team headed by former apex court judge F M I Kalifulla to try to settle the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya. It said it respects the court’s decision and added that the court’s verdict should be final and binding on all parties.
The main opposition party attacked the BJP saying it has been politicising the issue for the past 27 years.
“Congress party has unequivocally maintained that the decision of the Supreme Court in the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case should be final and binding on all parties, so we respect the decision for constituting a mediation panel by the SC,” the Congress said in a statement.
Attacking the BJP, it said the ruling party has been politicising a “faith-based issue” for its political gains for the last 27 years. “Since 1992, BJP has kept the issue alive so as to be used in every election for vote garnering and relegate the Ram Mandir issue to the annals of history post-election — to be revived again in the next election,” it added.
BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao said keeping the dispute pending for long is not in anyone’s interest. “It is important to resolve the issue but it is more important and essential to build a grand temple at Sri Ram Janmbhoomi. This cannot be kept pending for a long time,” PTI quoted Rao as saying.
Union minister Giriraj Singh said he had no comments to offer on the court order, but asked Muslims not to be “obstinate” as he pitched for building the Ram temple. “Can there be anything other than a mosque in Mecca and Madina?… Do Hindus have not even this much right after partition that we can offer prayers to Lord Ram in Ayodhya?” he said, according to PTI.
The BSP welcomed the Supreme Court decision. “The Supreme Court’s order to constitute in-camera mediation (in Faizabad) in order to resolve the Ayodhya matter seems an honest effort. Hon’ble Court looking for “a possibility of healing relationships” is an appreciable move. BSP welcomes it,” BSP chief Mayawati tweeted.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted, “Sri Sri had threatened that India would become like Syria if Ram Mandir isn’t built. He’s asked Muslims to give up their legal claim over title of BabriMasjid. How would he be a neutral mediator?”
Senior CPM leader and Politburo member Brinda Karat pointed out that previous mediation efforts had failed to yield results. But this time, she said, the Supreme Court is monitoring it and all the parties who have gone to the court are in agreement with the decision and it is to be seen what will be the result.