KALOL: Taking a swipe at Kapil Sibal over his demand that hearing on the Ram Janmabhoomi case be deferred, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked him and his "new leader" to clarify whether the lawyer-turned-politician was with those who want the temple, or those who want the Babri Masjid.
"What the Congress has done so far is 'atkana, latkana and bhatkana'. They will either stall, keep an issue hanging or try to divert it," Modi said, adding that it is not interested in solving people's problems.
"The issue of Ram Temple is pending since the nineteenth century. Nineteenth-century has gone, twentieth has gone and twenty years of the 21st century have gone. Now when the case has come to the Supreme Court for final hearing, a senior Congress leader who is also an advocate says defer it till 2019 polls," Modi said.
"See, this is how they have functioned, here also 'atkana, latkana and bhatkana'. In the last 70 years, they have just worked keeping elections in mind," Modi said.
"Now the entire country wants resolution of the issue.
Sunni Waqf board, Shia Waqf board, those representing Ram Mandir, want the decision to come soon," Modi said.
"Let the decision come one way or another, everybody wants that court should hear the matter fast and give a decision," Modi said.
"That Congress leader, instead of answering my question, is saying he is not the lawyer of Sunni Waqf board," Modi said, in apparent reference to Sibal.
"Give the answer, are you with those who want to construct Ram Temple or those who are for Babri Masjid? If you cannot give the answer tell your new leader to answer which side you are on," Modi said, without naming Rahul Gandhi who is set to become the Congress president.
"When the Congress party comes across such issues, they will say this was his personal view.... Why have you not sacked him (Sibal) so far," Modi asked.
Sibal had told the Supreme Court that since the court's decision in the case would have "very serious ramifications", the hearing be deferred till July 2019 by which time the general election would be over.
His contention was, however, not accepted by the court which decided to hear the matter on February 8 next year.