Congress Hails SC Verdict, Owaisi Says Apex Court 'Not Infallible'

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, BSP chief Mayawati and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also urged people to accept the verdict and maintain peace.

New Delhi: The Congress today hailed the decision of the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya title dispute case and urged all parties and people to accept the same. The party stated that it is in favour of the construction of a Ram temple and noted that the verdict has closed the doors on all those who have been indulging in politics of religion over the issue.

SC has honoured faith, belief

Addressing a press conference, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “The Supreme Court has today honoured faith and belief.”

He announced that a meeting of the Congress working committee had been held under the chairmanship of party president Sonia Gandhi where the Supreme Court verdict was discussed. Therein, he said, a resolution was passed on the issue of the verdict and the construction of a Ram temple.

Surjewala then read out the statement. The committee said:

“The Indian National Congress respects the verdict of the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya case. We appeal to all the parties concerned and to all communities to abide by the secular values and spirit of fraternity enshrined in our Constitution and to maintain peace and harmony.”

Also read: What the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya Judgment Means for the Future of the Republic

The statement also noted that “it is the responsibility of each one of us to reaffirm our tradition of mutual respect and unity among all that has defined our society through the ages”.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also tweeted that the Supreme Court has delivered its verdict and respecting it, everyone should maintain peace.

‘Congress in favour of Ram temple construction’

Answering a question, Surjewala said the Congress was in favour of construction of a Ram temple.

He said after several years, the Supreme Court has settled this issue with its ruling. “I feel this issue is not of giving credit to any party, person or organisation. With this decision of the highest court of the land, the doors have been opened for the construction of a temple of Ram Lalla but this order has also closed the doors on Bharatiya Janata Party and other people who were playing politics of religion and faith on this issue.”

Also read: Supreme Court Upholds VHP Claim, Clears Decks for Ram Temple at Babri Masjid Site

‘Ram is a symbol of sacrifice, not enjoying power’

He said Ram was a symbol of sacrifice for upholding righteousness, not of enjoying power.

To a question on the All India Muslim Personal Law Board saying that it was not fully satisfied with the judgment and would explore the possibility of filing a review, Surjewala said he saw their press conference and found that they too were saying that they respect the ruling.

“Of course, everybody has a right to their own legal remedy and they can always choose to exercise them. But as far as Congress goes, we have said what we had to by way of a specific resolution,” he said.

‘Ayodhya land was acquired in 1993 during Congress rule’

“The Congress has only this to say, the Supreme Court has taken a decision and all parties should accept it. It may be recalled that this land was acquired by the government during Congress rule in 1993,” he added.

Surjewala also said that Congress’ position in favour of the construction of a Ram temple “has been a consistent stance… all parties, groups, people and parties should completely accept and acknowledge the decision of the Supreme Court. There is no question of questioning it.”

Also read: Full Text: The Supreme Court’s Judgment in the Ayodhya Title Dispute Case

“As I said, Lord Ram is sacrifice, love, dedication, love between all communities, whatever decision has come from the Supreme Court, has closed the doors for politics of all the parties who were trying to capitalise on this politics of religion,” he concluded.

Supreme Court is supreme, but not infallible: Owaisi

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi while reacting to the judgment said: “The Supreme Court is supreme but not infallible.”

Asking if he did not have the “right to express dissatisfaction with a judgment”, he noted how the All India Muslim Personal Law Board too had said “it is not happy” with the ruling. He said he too was “not satisfied with the verdict”, but had “full faith in the constitution”.

He also cautioned about the repercussions of the ruling. “A victory of faith over facts – that is what this judgment is. There are several other mosques in this country over which ‘Sanghis’ have laid claim. Now we are wondering if they will cite this judgment in those cases too.”

On the issue of the five-acre land the court allowed to be given to the Muslims, he said: “We were fighting for our right, we don’t need five acres of land as donation. We should reject this five acre land offer, don’t patronise us.”

Owaisi insisted that there cannot be a trade-in with a mosque site. “It is not a personal property,” he said.

Nitin Gadkari appeals for peace

Meanwhile, in one of the first reactions from any government functionary, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said that since India is a democratic country, everyone should accept the ruling. “People should maintain peace and harmony, this is my prayer.”

Arvind Kejriwal welcomes decision

Delhi chief minister and founder of Aam Aadmi Party Arvind Kejriwal tweeted his reaction to the SC verdict saying he welcomes it.

Kejriwal wrote: “A five judge bench of Supreme Court hear all the parties and then gave its verdict. We welcome the SC judgement. It has decided a decades old dispute. I appeal to all maintain peace and harmony.”

Tejashwi says governments should now focus on development, employment

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav too expressed “heartfelt respect” towards the judgment. “Every temple, mosque, gurdwara, church of the country is ours. Nothing and no one is alien. They are all ours,” he wrote.

Yadav, whose father and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav, had halted Lal Krishna Advani’s Ram Rath Yatra in Samastipur in 1990, further stated that “now the political parties should focus on constructing good schools, colleges, universities and hospitals and in generating employment for the youth”.

Earlier, he also appealed to the people of Bihar to accept whatever judgment the Supreme Court passed and to not let social harmony get disturbed. “The presiding gods in temples, mosques and gurdwaras would also not want any distance between their followers.”

Mayawati appeals for harmony following ‘historic judgment’

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati termed the SC decision as “historic”. She said under the Constitution drafted by Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, the Supreme Court has unanimously delivered a historic judgment which she respected. She also appealed and advised that all future work be done in a “harmonious environment”.

Mayawati also urged people to accept the court ruling and to maintain peace.

CPI(M) says ‘certain premises of judgment questionable’

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said “while this judgment has provided a judicial resolution to this fractious issue, there are certain premises of the judgment which are questionable”.

A statement issued by the party’s politbureau said “the court judgment has itself stated that the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992 was a violation of law. This was a criminal act and an assault on the secular principle.”

As such, CPI(M) demanded that “cases pertaining to the demolition should be expedited and the guilty punished”.

The party also pointed out that “the court appreciated the 1991 Places of Religious Workship Act” and stated that “adherence to this law should ensure that no such disputes on religious places are again raised and utilised”.

Finally, the politbureau urged that there should be no provocative acts using the judgment that may disrupt communal harmony.

Doesn’t legitimise criminal demolition: CPI(ML)

A statement issued by the politbureau of CPI(ML) sought to highlight that “the Supreme Court verdict on the disputed Ayodhya site in no way legitimises the dastardly and criminal demolition of the Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992.” The Left party was, however, critical of the judgment.

“The verdict has failed to provide a convincing resolution of the dispute, and the incoherence between the premise and conclusion of the judgement makes it inconsistent and unconvincing.

“The apex court has rightly noted that the act of demolition of the Babri Masjid was a clear violation of the rule of law and that the title suit should be decided on the basis of evidence and not faith. But by awarding the entire land to the Centre for the construction of a temple and allocating five acres of land in a nearby site for construction of a new mosque in lieu of the demolished mosque, it has done no justice to its own observations. What makes this anonymously authored judgement particularly incoherent is an addendum attributed to one of the five judges seeking to establish the disputed site as the birthplace of Ram according to Hindu beliefs even as the judgement asserts that the case should be decided on the basis of evidence and not faith,” the statement reads.

Order should be implemented properly, says Murli Manohar Joshi

BJP leader and former Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi, who is also an accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, said “the apex court has given its ruling on an important aspect of the Ayodhya dispute”.

“This decision should be accepted by all with due respect and efforts should be made that what this order has directed is also be followed in spirit. Peace should be maintained across the country. Also, the organisation which is made responsible for implementing this decision should plan properly and work unitedly with others.”

On the ruling and what it says about Ram, he said: “The Supreme Court has stated that it was Ram’s birthplace and so this land belongs to Hindus. I think Ram belongs to the entire world and is does not belong to any one language, caste, race or region. And that is why all religions in India have always accepted Ram as a respectable deity.”