In a massive U-turn by the Congress party, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has been asked to step down as the representative of the Sunni Waqf Board in the Ram Mandir case. The Muslim litigants, however, said that they were unaware of any such instruction by the Congress. The speculations of Kapil Sibal recusing himself from the case increased when he did not appear for last two hearings. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board maintained that they would require Kapil Sibal during the hearing on April 6th to argue on constitutional issues.
The Congress asked Sibal to recuse himself from the case as it would be politically sensible for him and the party. This is because Kapil Sibal representing the Sunni Waqf Board does not fit with the Congress’ newfound soft-Hindutva strategy. Earlier, Kapil Sibal had requested the Supreme Court to postpone the hearing of the Ram Mandir Case until the elections of 2019, citing that it could affect the outcome of the elections. Sibal had even threatened to walk out of court, claiming they were not being given a fair chance.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah had pointed out the double standard of the Congress party during the Gujarat elections. While on the one hand, Rahul Gandhi was busy visiting temples, on the other hand, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal was trying to stall the Ram Mandir case. Narendra Modi had said at that time, “What the Congress has done so far is ‘atkana, latkana and bhatkana’.” Congress’s hidden agenda and double-standards were put out in the open by the prime minister. It appears that the Congress has learned its lessons from the Gujarat elections, and is trying to avoid a similar situation during 2019.
However, in doing so, it has openly exposed its double-standards and the soft-Hindutva strategy. Notably, this is the same party which had given an affidavit in Court stating that Ram was a fictional character and did not exist. So, it should not be a surprise that people will have a hard time believing in this new-found love for Ram by the Congress party.
Kapil Sibal has been one of the main lawyers in the Ram Mandir case, and withdrawing him from it is a clear evidence of guilt on the part of the Congress party.
The Congress has fought in court for years to ensure that Ram Mandir is not constructed in Ayodhya. It has tried everything at its disposal to stall the process, from denying the existence of Ram to citing the 2019 elections. It seems unlikely that a sudden U-turn would do any good for the grand old party. In fact, it is entirely possible that this will also make the Muslims realise that the Congress will do anything to win elections. The move to withdraw Kapil Sibal not only exposes the hollow soft-Hindutva approach, but also makes it clear that the Congress will even betray the minorities for electoral gains.