Dhandhuka: Four days before Gujarat votes and precisely 25 years after the Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya, the Ram temple issue is back in focus, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a sharp attack on Wednesday on the Congress over its leader Kapil Sibal's plea in the Supreme Court to defer hearing in the Ayodhya case till after the 2019 parliamentary elections. The PM said that that while he has "no problems with Kapil Sibal representing Muslims, why does he have to link Ram Mandir with the Lok Sabha elections. Is this thinking proper?"
At another rally, PM Modi congratulated the Sunni Waqf Board for "their brave stand on the matter and disassociating themselves from the statement of Sibal," who is the board's lawyer.
On the campaign trail in Gujarat, Modi recalled how his government decided to oppose 'triple talaq' in the Supreme Court risking a possible backlash in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
He also pitched for simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies.
Modi said now he understands why the Congress kept many issues unresolved, without elaborating but implying that it was done to derive political mileage.
"Does the Waqf Board fight elections? Are these thoughts of delaying the hearing for elections that of the Waqf Board? The Congress party is fighting the elections in the country. You want to keep the issue unresolved for political gain and losses in the elections?" Modi asked the Congress.
He, however, noted that the Congress has said the views by Sibal, who represents the Sunni Waqf Board in the case in the Supreme Court, were his own.
Sibal, while arguing for the Sunni Waqf Board, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that since the court's decision in the case would have "severe ramifications", the hearing be deferred till July 2019 by which time the general election would be over.
His contention was, however, not accepted by the court which decided to hear the matter on February 8 next year.