Senior Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal, who represents the Sunni Waqf Board in the Babri Masjid case, has been asked by the grand old party to withdraw from the contentious land dispute case.
Ramjanamabhoomi-Babri Masjid case is not only decades old but also a controversial issue in the sense that it has significant political, historical and socio-religious impact. Congress has reportedly told Sibal that it makes political sense to recuse himself from the case.
Sibal was in the eye of the storm last year in December when he requested the Supreme Court not to hear the case till 2019, as the verdict could influence the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The apex court, however, turned down the plea.
The Sunni Waqf Board immediately distanced itself from Sibal and said it would want the issue to be resolved at the earliest.
"Yes Kapil Sibal is our lawyer but he is also related to a political party, his statement in SC yesterday (December 5, 2017) was wrong, we want a solution to the issue at the earliest," Sunni Waqf Board member Haji Mehboob had said in December 2017.
Sibal also came under the attack from the BJP and since Gujarat Assembly elections were round the corner then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cornered the Congress over Sibal's plea.
"What the Congress has done so far is 'atkana, latkana and bhatkana' (Delay and mislead). They will either stall, keep an issue hanging or try to divert it," Modi had said, adding that it is not interested in solving people's problems.
Under attack, Sibal claimed he did not represent the Sunni Waqf Board in the Ayodhya case in the Supreme Court, and mounted a counter-offensive against Modi, saying he should have checked the facts before criticising him.
Even Sunni Waqf Board had then said that it was not aware why Kapil Sibal was pressing for a delay in the hearing as no such direction was given by the board.