Modi praises Sunni Board's stance on Ram Mandir hearing issue

Ayodhya A view of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in October 1990. Several rallies and demostrations were organised in country on the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the mosque. PTI

Sibal blamed the PM and media for wrongly stating him as the counsel of the Sunni Waqf Board, as he was representing late Hashim Ansari - the first litigant in the case.

"On Tuesday in the SC, a Congress MP Kapil Sibal was arguing (which is his right) for the Babri Masjid".

Though Sibal did not mention elections, it was apparent to all present that he wanted the court to hear the matter only after the 2019 elections to Lok Sabha.

"As far as Ram Mandir is concerned (Modiji), it will be built when Lord Ram wants it to be built", said Sibal.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi yesterday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that "unlike Narendrabhai" he was human and could err. Modi asked the crowd, later accusing the Congress of linking the Ram Temple issue with the elections. The elections in the country are being fought by the Congress party.

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.

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The court didn't accept his appeal and set the final hearing for February 8, 2018. The BJP has put both Sibal and the Congress party in its crosshairs.

Campaigning for Gujarat Assembly election, PM Modi too launched an offensive.

"Sibal, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board, made a prayer which is political in nature and should not be made within the Supreme Court". But is the Waqf Board going to contest elections?

Haji Mehboob, one of the litigants, said Muslims want a resolution of the dispute at the earliest, differing from Sibal's stand. "We totally support his stand", said Zafaryab Jilani, a member of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, who is actively involved in the case since the beginning. Modi asked at a rally in Gujarat's Dhandhuka.

He said party spokesman Ranjit Singh Surjewala's statement that it was a personal view of Sibal and not of the Congress party would not do. "I request the PM to be a little more careful before making such public comments".

The High court, in 2010, had decided that the disputed land of 2.77 acre will be divided in three-way among the parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and the Lord Ram Lalla. Are these thoughts of delaying the hearing for elections that of the Waqf Board?

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