Latching on to Kapil Sibal's statement in the Supreme Court for deferring hearing in the Ramjanambhoomi dispute till after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday asked Rahul Gandhi to clear the Congress stand on the Ram temple issue.He accused the Congress of having "double standards" on the contentious issue and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other hand wanted an end to the matter as soon as possible."I appeal to the future Congress President -- please clear your stand on the issue," he said."The Congress puts up (Congress leader and eminent lawyer) Sibal every time it wants to take a different stand -- be it the 2G scam when Sibal came up with 'zero loss' theory or the reservation issue in Gujarat when he said reservation beyond 50 per cent is possible."He alleged that the Congress did not want the issue of the proposed Ram temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh to be resolved soon."Now they (Congress) want to put hurdles in the construction of the Ram temple," the BJP chief said."We demand that the Congress clear its stand on this issue -- whether it wants early resolution of the Ram Janambhoomi issue or does it want to be delayed till after the 2019 general elections," Shah added.
"On the one hand, temples are being visited (by Rahul Gandhi) ahead of elections. On the other hand, they are trying to delay hearing of the Ramjanmabhoomi case (in the Supreme Court). The Congress has double standards on the issue. They should clarify their stand," Shah said.The BJP chief said his party was for hearing of the case by the Supreme Court as early as possible. "The Supreme Court should give a judgment and a grand Ram temple should be built in Ayodhya," he said.Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, cousel for the Sunni Waqf Board in the Ayodhya case, earlier in the day asked the apex court to hear the matter only in July 2019.The Supreme Court however said it will commence hearing on February 8, 2018, on a batch of petitions which challenged a 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit that divided the disputed Babri Masjid site between the Nirmohi Akhara, Lord Ram deity, and the Sunni Waqf Board.
Reacting to Shah's remarks, Congress spokesperson, Dr. Manish Doshi said, "Why is it that the BJP remembers Ram Mandir only durin g election times. Why does it not raise this issue at any other time. It is because they don't have anywhere to resort to so they want to resort to religion as their last resort for garnering votes."Earlier in the day, Shah's public meetings across Rajula, Mahuva and Shohor were cancelled due to Ockhi cyclone, which is expected to hit south Gujarat late Tuesday night. Similarly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scheduled public meetings for Wednesday have been postponed to Thursday.