Ayodhya case: Muslim bodies speak in different voices

SC adjourns hearing in Ayodhya dispute case to February 2018

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Sunni Waqf Board, had said in the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the appeals in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case be heard in July 2019 after the completion of the next Lok Sabha polls as the atmosphere at present was not conducive for the proceedings.

The Supreme Court had fixed the next hearing for the long-standing matter for February 8, 2018.

Earlier reports had said that Sibal represented Sunni Waqf Board in the Supreme Court and had pleaded that the verdict be deferred till the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were declared.

While Sibal's denial that he appeared for the Waqf Board was supported by a reference in the order of the SC bench on December 5, which showed that he appeared for two private persons from the minority community, the claim was denied by other facts concerning the crucial hearing in the sensitive Ayodhya case. Incidentally, it was also the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the structure in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya. "Yesterday, in the Supreme Court, Congress MP Kapil Sibal was arguing (which is his right) for the Babri Masjid". He also took a potshot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he should get his facts right before making any comments.

Interestingly, the Congress wasn't the only one seeking to dissociate itself from Sibal's plea.

The Sunni Waqf Board dissociated itself from Sibal's suggestion. "We want that the case is solved at the earliest", he stressed. The Congress vice president had put out a tweet on Tuesday carrying erroneous percentages to depict a rise in the prices of essential commodities in a graphic and asked the prime minister whether his government was "for the rich".

Modi said now he understands why the Congress kept many issues unresolved, without elaborating but implying that it was done to derive political mileage.

BJP chief Amit Shah today stepped up his attack on the Congress over the Ram temple issue by accusing it of "shameful posturing".

"As the representative body (of Muslims), the board endorses and confirms the said statement of the counsels made in court", it said in a statement.

"Now Congress links Ram Mandir with elections".

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