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'Congress Vote Board' sought deferring of Ayodhya title suit:

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

Targeting senior leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal, spokesperson Sambit Patra today said it was the "Vote Board" and not the Sunni Waqf Board which sought deferment of hearing by the Supreme of the Ayodhya title suit till after the 2019 polls.

Sibal, appearing for the Sunni Waqf Board, had yesterday said in the apex that the appeals be heard in July 2019 after the completion of the next Lok Sabha polls as the atmosphere at present was not conducive.

However, the Sunni Waqf Board, which is one of the appellants in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, today said it wanted speedy justice in the case and was not in favour of shifting the hearing till after the 2019 polls.

Another party to the case, Haji Mehboob today said he also wanted early disposal of the matter and did not approve of Sibal's stand.

Referring to Mehboob, Patra said the deferment demand was based on the "political motives of the Congress".

"Yesterday, Sibal, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board, argued before the Supreme that the hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi case should be deferred till 2019 polls," Patra said.

He said Babri Masjid Action Committee coordinator and Sunni Waqf Board member Haji Mehboob has clarified that the Board is not in favour of deferment as they are not a political party which would be affected by elections.

"He (Mehboob) also said that there was no talk about deferment with Sibal before the hearing," Patra said.

"Now, with this statement by the Board, it is very much clear that it (seeking deferment) was done by the out of political motives. This decision of seeking deferment was not of the Waqf Board, but of 'Congress Vote Board'. The party has opened a Vote Board to create a rift between communities," Patra alleged.

He demanded that (Rahul) Gandhi should clarify his position on the issue.

"Though the president had asked the Congress to clear its stand, there is no response yet," Patra said.

Shah had asked the opposition party as well as Rahul Gandhi to clarify if they are in favour of speedy hearing of the case or not. He had also asked the Congress to clarify whether the argument put forward by Sibal in the apex court is the official stand of the party.

Taking a poetic dig at the Congress vice president, apparently over his visits to temples in poll-bound Gujarat, the spokesman said, "Badalte Hue Mausam Ka Parwana Hu, Gujarat mae janeu-dhari Hindu aur UP-Bihar mae Maulana hu. (I become a sacred thread-wearing Hindu when in Gujarat and a Muslim cleric when I am visiting Bihar or Uttar Pradesh)".

After a controversy broke out after Rahul Gandhi's visit to the famous Somnath temple in Gujarat recently, the Congress had said Gandhi was a "janeu dhari" (sacred thread wearing) Hindu.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 06 2017. 22:20 IST