Amid the raging issue of Ram temple construction in Ayodhya - a temple town of Uttar Pradesh believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress of delaying the construction of Ram temple by stalling early hearing of the Ayodhya case in the Supreme Court. Addressing an election rally in Rajasthan's Alwar, the prime minister said, "During the Ayodhya case, a Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP had asked the court not to hear the matter till 2019 citing Lok Sabha elections. Was it right to drag the judiciary in politics?"
The Prime Minister was referring to senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal’s request in the Supreme Court to delay the hearing of the matter till the 2019 elections are over, citing serious repercussions outside the court.
Jab Ayodhya ka case chal raha tha, Congress ke neta Rajya Sabha ke sadasya kehte hain ki 2019 tak case mat chalao kyunki 2019 mein chunaav hai. Desh ke nyayatantra ko is prakaar se rajneeti mein ghaseetna uchit hai kya? : Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Alwar #RajasthanElections pic.twitter.com/Bkolydem2X— ANI (@ANI) November 25, 2018
Adducing the Congress party’s move to impeach then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, PM Modi said that the Congress leader, who is also a lawyer, tried to scare the Chief Justice by bringing an impeachment motion against him.
“When a Supreme Court judge was willing to hear all parties in a sensitive case such as Ayodhya, a Congress Rajya Sabha MP and lawyer tried to scare him by bringing an impeachment motion against him,” the PM said.
The remarks of the Prime Minister came a day when Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is holding a massive Dharma Sabha to push the ruling BJP-led government in the Centre and the state for the construction a grand Ram temple at ruins of a 16th-century mosque in Ayodhya.
Besides the VHP Dharma Sabha, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who is on his maiden visit to Ayodhya, also put pressure on the Modi government and asked them to declare a date for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference on Sunday, the Sena chief said that the BJP government will not return to power if they don’t build Ram temple. Taking a jibe at the Modi government, Thackeray said that if the court is to decide the fate of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, then the BJP should not use the issue to gain votes in elections and tell the people that it was also a ‘jumla’ (gimmick). The BJP, however, denounced the remarks of Thackeray, saying the Shiv Sena has no role in the Ram temple movement.
“The Shiv Sena had no role in the temple movement or even in the Dharam Sabha. There is no problem in Uddhav Thackeray catching a glimpse of Ram Lalla... But, had Balasaheb Thackeray been alive, he would have prevented Uddhav from doing whatever he is doing?” Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said.