LUCKNOW: The decision of the three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, to defer the hearing in Ayodhya title suit case till January 2019 has drawn sharp reactions from various quarters here on Monday.
Echoing his views against the deferment of hearing in the vexed issue till next year, UP Deputy CM Keshav Maurya claimed that it was not a good sign.
"I don't want to comment on Supreme Court's decision but it won't send a good message down the line," said Maurya. He added that it was not an election issue but one related to the faith of majority community of the country.
"It doesn't have to do anything with upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The apex court had to commence day-to-day hearing in the case from today (Monday) but the conditions under which it has been deferred till January next year need to be seen," he said adding that it was imperative to think in terms of charting a legislative route to resolve the imbroglio.
Notably, of late, Maurya has been advocating formulation of a law for temple construction in the Ayodhya but not before the Supreme Court of India delivers its verdict over the tile suit pending before it since January, 2011.
On Sunday, Maurya had said that no structure in the name of Mughal emperor Babur would be allowed in Ayodhya. "We are hopeful that the top court will provide a solution to the issue which is a matter of faith for millions of people," Maurya said.
Even before that CM Yogi Adityanath had pitched in on Saturday saying that if the SC could decide Sabarimala, it should also give its order in Ram temple case. "I request the court to do so," the CM had said while speaking at an event in New Delhi.On the other, ruling BJP called the deferment of hearing by another three months a disappointing development for the majority community of the country.
"We were really hopeful that the apex court will now settle the Ayodhya land dispute after conducting day-to-day hearing but deferring it by three months has left the Ram Bhakts in disarray," said BJP spokesman Naveen Srivastava.
He claimed that now the party's top leadership may take necessary decision keeping the popular sentiment in mind. "The opposition parties have decided to make it a Hindu-Muslim issue. For them it could be an election issue but for crores of Hindus it is associated with their faith. All hopes were pinned at Supreme Court but it has prolonged the wait further," said a senior BJP leader.
In fact, 14 appeals have been filed and pending against the Allahabad High Court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties - the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla (the deity which is a party in the case through a legal representative).
The High Court, on the basis of evidence produced, had acknowledged that fact that the disputed site was the birth place of Lord Ram.Minutes after the Supreme Court verdict, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad demanded the Centre to bring "a law to build the temple.
"We will not keep on waiting till eternity. This fortifies the VHP's stand that the solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi issue is not in eternally waiting for hearing of appeals pending for over seven years," said VHP's working president Alok Kumar.
Even the seers and saints in Ayodhya were miffed with the apex court order. Mahant Paramhans Das, who had been on fast unto death recently demanding a schedule for building Ram temple, said that the BJP government should now pave way for temple construction at the earliest.
"If this is not done, BJP, VHP and RSS will have to face the consequences in 2019 Lok Sabha elections," he asserted.Bharatiya Sant Samiti chief Swami Jitendranand Saraswati also cautioned the government. "
Since Supreme Court has deferred the issue till January, we will mount pressure on Union Government to bring a law for temple construction in winter session of the Parliament," he maintained.
However, Nirmohi Akhada, a party in the title suit, said that it would go by the Supreme Court's order in the case. Ramjanmabhoomi chief priest Satyendra Das said that only Supreme Court could solve the matter and both the parties were ready to go by the court order.
Similarly, Muslim litigant Iqbal Ansari, son of Hashim Ansari (the first Muslim litigant who took the vexed issue to the court in 1961) reiterated his stand by saying that court's decision would be acceptable to us.