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After Bihar Congress poster shows Rahul as Ram, BJP hurls fresh Ayodhya question

Reacting to a Bihar Congress poster showing Rahul Gandhi as Lord Ram, the BJP asked the party about its stand on transferring non-disputed land in Ayodhya to the Ram temple trust.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2019 16:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Ram temple,Ayodhya
A Bihar Congress poster in Patna portrays party president Rahul Gandhi as Lord Ram.(Photo: Twitter/@ANI)

On a day when the central government approached the Supreme Court with a plea seeking permission to hand over 67 acre land to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas ((a trust campaigning for construction of Ram temple) near disputed area in Ayodhya, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got a shot in the arm to pose fresh questions on the matter after a Bihar Congress poster showed party president Rahul Gandhi in the avatar of Lord Ram.

A poster that appeared in Patna on Tuesday and immediately made to social media portrays Rahul Gandhi as Lord Ram. Taking a swipe at the Bihar Congress poster, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra sought to know from the Congress about its stand on the Centre’s petition in the Supreme Court over non-disputed land in Ayodhya.

Captioning the Bihar Congress as “the solo motive of the Congressmen – sycophancy is the supreme conduct”, Sambit Patra said, “What is your (the Congress) stand on the petition of the central government submitted before the Supreme Court today?”

His tweet reads, “This is the Congress’s poster in Patna. The solo motive of the Congressmen – sycophancy is the supreme conduct. First, refute the existence of Ram then dress Rahul like Shri Ram… Good that (you) became Shri Ram…Now tell this Congress people… What is your stand on the petition of the central government submitted before the Supreme Court today?”

Earlier in a politically significant move ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Centre moved the Supreme Court seeking permission to hand over the excess or superfluous land around the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site to its original owners.

In its petition, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it had acquired 67 acres of land including the 2.77 acre disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site. It has sought permission to return the land to its original owners. This has been interpreted as a move to hand over the land to the Ram temple trust.

The petition reads, “The applicant (Centre) is filing this Application seeking permission of this Court to permit the applicant to fulfil the duty to revert/restore/hand over the excess/superfluous land acquired under the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993.”

The government referred, in its petition, to the 1994 Ismail Faruqui judgment of the Supreme Court, which had then observed that if the Centre wanted to return the acquired land to its original owners then it might do so.

The petition says, “The Constitution Bench of this Court has held that the superfluous area which is other than the disputed area of 0.313 acres shall be reverted/ restored to its original owners.”

It also said the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas has sought return of excess land acquired in 1991 to original owners. “One party namely Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas whose land measuring approximately 42 acres [which is a part of the superfluous/excess land] was acquired, has moved an application relying on the constitution bench judgment of this court,” the petition said.

The Supreme Court through a 2003-order directed for maintaining status quo in the entire campus around the dispute site in Ayodhya. The Centre sought in its plea a modification in the Supreme Court order with regard to the acquired land. The central government under PV Narasimha Rao had acquired 67 acre land including the disputed site in 1991.

The title dispute case of Ayodhya is pending before the Supreme Court, which on Sunday cancelled the hearing listed for Tuesday owing to absence of a judge part of the constitution bench set up to hear the politically sensitive matter.

First Published: Jan 29, 2019 16:11 IST

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