Launching a stinging attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday, said that his party (Congress) has always maintained a clear position on the Ayodhya matter – he was speaking in the wake of the Babri Masjid case being heard in the Supreme Court. Surjewala said his party has always said that the matter will be heard and decided by the Supreme Court. He further went on to say that BJP has been raking up the issue just to garner votes. While addressing the media, Surjewala said, “BJP chief Amit Shah is trying to garner votes in the name of Lord Rama. The BJP is playing the role of ‘Manthara'”. Meanwhile, senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who has been representing the Sunni Waqf Board had urged that Supreme Court to hear the matter only in July 2019 and not now, that is, after the completion of the next Lok Sabha polls. He had said that hearing the matter before Lok Sabha polls will have political ramifications. However, the Supreme Court had rejected Sibal’s submission to put off the case till the next general elections.
Speaking on Kapil Sabil’s submission to the court, Surjewala had said that Congress Party has got nothing to do with what Sibal said, as he is a lawyer, it’s his personal matter. He even raked up the Bhopal gas tragedy matter, by quoting Arun Jaitley in it. He said, “Arun Jaitley was the lawyer in Bhopal gas tragedy matter. Does that mean the whole BJP has to be blamed.” Surjewala’s attack on BJP comes after Amit Shah, who had accused Rahul Gandhi of maintaining ‘double standards’ in the Ayodhya matter. BJP chief had compared Rahul and Sibal and had said that Rahul was visiting temples in Gujarat and Sibal wanted to delay the matter till 2019 general elections.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao had also cornered Congress over Sibal’s submission. He had said that Kapil Sibal plea has politicised the legal dispute. He had also asked the Congress to clarify its position on the matter, whether Sibal was representing the party or the Sunni Waqf Board. He further said, “Rather than seeking an early resolution to this vexed legal issue, why is the Congress party trying to perpetuate uncertainty.” The Congress and BJP have been exchanging war of words after the Supreme Court adjourned the commencement of final hearing in the Ayodhya matter to Feburary8, 2018.