NEW DELHI: The BJP censure for Rahul Gandhi — who is set to be the Congress president — over the hearing of Ayodhya Ram temple case in the Supreme Court turned harsh on Monday, with sharp comments from various party leaders. While party chief Amit Shah demanded that Mr Gandhi spell out his stand, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao accused him of being “kin” of 14th Century Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji and a “devotee” of Babar, who founded the Mughal dynasty.
Babar is also the ruler in whose name a mosque had come up in Ayodhya, where a temple said to be marking the birthplace of Lord Ram, once stood.
Mr Rao’s tweet this morning read:
Rahul Gandhi has teamed up with Owaisis, Jilanis to oppose Ram temple in Ayodhya. Rahul Gandhi is certainly a "Babar Bhakt" & a "Kin of Khilji". Babar destroyed Ram temple & Khilji plundered Somnath. Nehru dynasty sided with both Islamic invaders.Travesty & Perversity of dynasty!
— GVL Narasimha Rao (@GVLNRAO) December 6, 2017
In another tweet, he said: “Nehru dynasty sided with both Islamic invaders. Travesty and perversity of dynasty!”
The controversy had erupted yesterday after Kapil Sibal’s asked the Supreme Court to defer the hearing in the case till after the 2019 parliamentary elections. Mr Sibal — a minister in the Congress-led UPA government who was representing the Sunni Waqf Board — told the top court that the BJP has claimed that the Ram temple will be built before 2019 through legal means. “They want to make it part of their election manifesto and the court should not fall into the trap,” he had added.
His plea was rejected.
BJP chief Amit Shah demanded that Rahul Gandhi, who has been visiting many temples in Gujarat while canvassing for votes, make his stand clear on the temple. “On the one hand, temples are being visited ahead of elections. On the other hand, they are trying to delay hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi case. The Congress has double standards on the issue,” he said. The demand was echoed by Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned why Mr Sibal was linking elections with the temple.
Mr Prasad said as a lawyer, Mr Sibal can argue any matter. “But he should not forget that he has been the law minister in the past,” Mr Prasad said. “What does he mean, when he says ‘don’t hear the matter till 2019 as it will have an impact outside’? It is unfair and in many ways irresponsible.”
The Congress has maintained that Mr Sibal was representing the Waqf Board in his personal capacity. Accusing the BJP of making mischief, Randeep Surjewala said his party’s stand “has always been clear, that the Ayodhya case will be decided by Supreme Court.”