NEW DELHI: Slamming senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal for allegedly linking the Ram Mandir issue with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hailed the Sunni Waqf Board for its stand on the matter.
"The Sunni Waqf Board must be congratulated for their brave stand on the matter and disassociating themselves from the statement of Shri Kapil Sibal," PM Narendra Modi said.
"The Sunni Waqf Board has stated today that yes, Kapil Sibal may be our lawyer but what he said in the court is absolutely wrong. They too want a time-bound solution to the matter. Everyone wants a time-bound solution except Congress and their leaders," PM Modi said.
On Tuesday, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, Kapil Sibal requested the Supreme Court to set the next hearing on the case after March 2019. The Congress leader justified his stand saying 'the case has ramification on the polity of India,'.
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.
"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," Modi said further.
Modi, who was back on the campaign trail in poll-bound Gujarat on Wednesday, added that he would not remain silent on the triple talaq as the issue is for the right of women.
"When the triple talaq matter was in the Supreme Court, the government had to put their affidavit. Newspapers commented that Modi will remain silent because of Uttar Pradesh polls. People told me not to speak on the matter else there will be losses in elections," Modi said while addressing a rally in Gujarat's Dhandhuka today.
"I am clear that on Triple Talaq I will not be silent. Everything is not about elections. This issue is for the rights of women...elections come later humanity comes first," Modi said.
"Yesterday in the SC, a 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 hearing till 2019? Why does he have to link a Ram Mandir with elections? Is such thinking proper? Now Congress links Ram Mandir with elections. They are least bothered about the nation," PM Modi said.
On Tuesday, BJP national president Amit Shah also attacked the Congress to make its stand clear on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue after Sibal’s arguments in court.
Shah said that on one hand, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is on "election tour of temples" in Gujarat, while on the other his party wants the hearing on the title dispute to be deferred.
The special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also "prima facie" rejected the demand by a battery of lawyers including Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan that the appeals against the Allahabad High Court order be either referred to a five or seven-judge bench keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the case.
The Allahabad High Court had in 2010 ordered a three-way division of the disputed land which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
The apex court decided to hear the matter on February 8 next year.