New Delhi, Dec 07, 2017 : In a fresh twist to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, the Sunni Waqf Board on Wednesday disassociated itself from senior advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments in the Supreme Court, seeking postponement of hearing in the matter till the 2019 elections.
Rather, it favoured an immediate solution to the long-standing dispute.
Board member Haji Mehboob said Sibal argued the case in the apex court as a Congress leader and not on behalf of the board.
"Yes, Kapil Sibal is our lawyer, but he is also related to a political party. His statement in the court was wrong. We want a solution to the issue at the earliest. We have got nothing to do with his statement," Mehboob said.
Reacting to the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Sunni Waqf Board, saying, "Everyone wants a time-bound solution, except the Congress and its leaders."
Addressing BJP workers during his Gujarat election campaign in Dahod, Modi said, "The Sunni Waqf Board must be congratulated for their brave stand and for disassociating themselves from the statement of Kapil Sibal."
Modi attacked Sibal for linking the Ram temple issue to the Lok Sabha elections. "Yesterday, in the Supreme Court, Congress MP Kapil Sibal was arguing (which is his right) for the Babri Masjid. He is entitled to do that, but is it right for him to say postpone the hearing till 2019?" Modi asked at a rally in Gujarat’s Dhandhuka.
"Why does he have to link a Ram mandir (temple) with the elections. Is such thinking proper?" Modi asked from the crowd. "Now, the Congress links Ram mandir with the elections. They are least bothered about the nation."
Shameful, says Shah
BJP chief Amit Shah tweeted that the Sunni Waqf Board stated that they don’t agree with what Sibal said in court. "It is certain that Sibal spoke in his capacity as a Congress leader, with the blessings of their high command. Shameful posturing by Congress on the Ram temple issue!"
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surejwala dismissed the row, saying the BJP was raking up non-issues just to garner votes.