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Panellists feel that the issue is hanging fire for too long and parties should not misuse it for electoral advantage

The Supreme Court said it will decide in January the date for hearing the Ayodhya land dispute case. In less than three minutes, the court adjourned till next year the hearing of a batch of pleas challenging the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 verdict that divided into three parts the disputed land in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid area in Ayodhya.

APN’s Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Anant Tyagi posed questions to panellists including BJP’s Dinesh Singh, Congress’ Saif Ali, Hindu Mahasabha’s Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, Muslim scholars Ajmal Khan and Maulana Abid, RSS’s Sarvesh Chandra Dwivedi and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Singh said: “For some reason, the Supreme Court has put off the decision. Let’s see what happens, we can’t keep sidelining it. We wanted an early resolution.”

Swami Chakrapani said: “It is sad that despite repeated pleas to the government and agencies, the issue has been put off again and again. BJP leaders say ‘it should be done’. Why are they failing on their agenda? What is the point of BJP getting such a huge majority? It’s a challenge to the protesters now.”

When Anant asked “don’t you trust the SC?”, Swami Chakrapani said: “We want judgment, not settlement, so that there is no dispute on the issue. BJP got a good decisive vote, but its moves are not decisive.”

Maluana Abid said: “Court judges decide as per what they deem fit. This Mudda has been raging on for decades. Earlier with Vajpayee and now with Modi, nothing decisive has emerged even with a BJP government at the centre. Are they expecting the court to be at the beck and call of political parties?”

To this, Singh said:”We have never said that we don’t trust the SC. Ram is of Hindustan, the verdict has to be favourable.”

Maulana Abid said:”It’s a title suit. Why are you bringing in Ram or Babar? When the matter is with the highest court of the country, we shall all have to abide by the verdict.”

When Singh continued to interject, he was silenced by the anchor.

Saif Khan said: “There is a lot the SC needs to know, a lot more research and comments are needed to be heard. People need to know that there is no love lost on this issue. The government has a Rs 500 crore budget for Ayodhya. How has that been used?”

Ajmal Khan said: “We can’t understand why the SC adjourned the case. We can only respect the verdict. There cannot be a debate on the SC adjournment.”

Raju said: “People expected the SC to decide once and for all. It’s unfortunate that the matter was adjourned in three minutes. The court did not deem the matter urgent enough. It could have given an earlier date. In reality, a lot more time is needed to arrive at a conclusion on this issue. The Ram Mandir mudda is a political issue, raised by political parties; faith is a different matter altogether. The SC case has nothing to do with faith. It’s a site dispute.”

Singh said: “Don’t allege that BJP is raking up this issue for political votes before the upcoming elections. Mudda is created by the people, not the parties.”

Swami Chakrapani said: “The BJP got a massive mandate to sort out this issue. But it is still hanging fire. The central government is equally vague about gau maaas (beef). They need to be clearer in their intentions and their actions.”

Said Khan said: “Whatever the SC verdict, we respect it. It is just a poll issue. BJP is not serious about devolving a solution to this at all.”

Maulana Abid said: “In 70 years, Muslims have suffered a lot. Images have been slipped in the dark of the night into the place. Let the SC decide the truth.”

Sarvesh Dwivedi said: “Whoever is raking up this issue should wait for the SC verdict now. However, the issue could have been decided amicably by all parties.”

                                                                                    —Compiled by Niti Singh Bhandari

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