From 'kin of Khilji' to 'Manthara': Who said what on Ayodhya dispute
From âkin of Khiljiâ to 'Manthara': Who said what on Ayodhya disputeTIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Dec 6, 2017, 20:20 IST
- The furore over the Ayodhya dispute intensified after Sunni Waqf Board member Haji Mehboob dismissed Kapil Sibal's demand to defer the hearing
- Mehboob's remark made many in BJP, including PM Narendra Modi, question the intentions of the Congress leader
Mehboob's rema rk made many in BJP question the intentions of the Congress leader and asked him to clarify his stand on the Ayodhya dispute.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Sibal of trying to politicise the Ayodhya issue.
"Why does he have to link a Ram Mandir with elections? Is such thinking proper?" he demanded while addressing a public rally in Gujarat's Dhandhuka.
On Mehboob's criticism of Sibal, the PM congratulated the Sunni Waqf Board for their "brave" posturing.
"The Sunni Waqf Board must be congratulated for their brave stand on the matter and disassociating themselves from the statement of Kapil Sibal ji," he said.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had dismissed Sibal's demand and fixed February 8, 2018 for commencing the final hearing in the case.
PM Narendra Modi's sentiments were echoed by BJP President Amit Shah as well.
Shah alleged that Sibal was influenced by the "Congress High Command", an apparent reference to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Yesterday, Shah had asked Congress if it was in favour of the construction of Ram Temple.
Reiterating Mehboob's remark, BJP leader Sambit Patra said that it has now become clear that Sibal, while appearing for the Sunni Waqf Board, was acting as a politician.
The BJP spokesperson took the opportunity to sharpen his attack on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and questioned his double standards on the issue of the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Earlier today, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao accused Rahul of siding with "Owaisis and Jilanis" to oppose Ram temple in Ayodhya, and called the Congress leader a "devotee" of first Mughal emperor Babar and a "kin" of Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji.
Rao was referring to Zafaryab Jilani, who is the convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, and AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi who on Tuesday had said that the Sangh Parivar wants to use the Ram temple issue to save Narendra Modi in the 2019 general elections as "he has failed on all fronts".
Congress national spokesperson Sanjay Jha hit back at Rao's remark and termed it an attempt at "repugnant politics" and "malevolent lies".
The Congress Party then furthered the war of words and said the BJP was raking up non-issues just to garner votes.
"Congress' stand has always been clear, that the Ayodhya matter will be heard and decided by the Supreme Court. The same has been said by the Law Minister many times. BJP chief Amit Shah is trying to garner votes in the name of Lord Rama. The BJP is playing the role of 'Manthara', raking up Kapil Sibal's stand on the hearing," Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said on Tuesday, while addressing the media.
He also hit back at the BJP for demanding the removal of Kapil Sibal and as ked for the removal of finance minister Arun Jaitley, instead, for having appeared for Dow Chemical in the Bhopal gas tragedy.
BJP MP Giriraj Singh, too, jumped into the battle when he accused the Congress of using the Muslim community to extract political gains and termed Sibal's demand in the Supreme Court a "gimmick".
Later in the day, both Sibal and Mehboob clarified their positions on the matter. While Sibal said that he has never represented the Sunni Waqf Board in the matter, Mehboob retracted his statement.
Mehboob's comments were dismissed by all the petitioners in the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi case, including the Sunni Waqf Board.
"Whatever Kapil Sibal saheb said in the Supreme Court yesterday (Tuesday) was said after thorough consideration and after taking us into confidence. We totally support his stand," Zafaryab Jilani, a member of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, who is actively involved in the case since t he beginning, told IANS.
Following Jilani's support for Sibal, Mehboob, too, retracted his statement.
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