BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra on Sunday slammed the National Herald newspaper, closely associated with Congress party, for publishing an article that belittled the Supreme Court (SC) on the Ayodhya verdict. Addressing the media, he pointed out that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were out on bail in the National Herald case. He then went on quote the article which compared the SC with Pakistan’s SC.
Patra said, “National Herald, for which both mother-son are out on bail-it is the jewel of the Gandhi family. The way it has commented on the Ayodhya verdict is condemnable. I am quoting- ‘Why the Ayodhya verdict reminds us of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’. National Herald, the mouthpiece of the Congress party is reminded of the Ayodhya verdict that has come, which has been pronounced by the Supreme Court. This is shameful. It is worth slamming that the Congress party mouthpiece using such words is belittling the Supreme Court.”
Patra noted that the article raised an insinuation about the SC delivering its verdict on the instruction of BJP and VHP. He termed this as “extremely sad”. Moreover, he claimed that the article suggested the absence of democracy in India and accused it of threatening violence.
The national spokesperson of BJP remarked, “Listen to what it says- ‘The Supreme Court of India has ruled exactly what Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party wanted from the beginning even after accepting that installing idols and demolishing the mosque is unlawful.’ Is Congress party via the National Herald trying to say that the Supreme Court gave that judgement which the VHP and BJP wanted? This is an extremely sad matter. There is no judicial system in the whole world, as transparent and as democratic as the judicial system of India. In the article, it has been written, ‘Closer to our time, General Musharraf was validated in the same fashion. All dictators have operated under legal cover. And their actions have been seen as legitimate.’ What is National Herald trying to say? It is saying that there is a dictatorship in India. There is no democracy in India. You cast aspersions over the SC. You are trying to save Pakistan. It says further, ‘What the long-term repercussions of the Ayodhya judgement are will unfold in time. But there will be repercussions of course and I hope consequences that are going to be won’t be as damaging to us as Pakistan.’ This is a threat. This is a peaceful country. Why will there be repercussions?”
National Herald, owned by Associated Journals Limited, published an opinion piece written by Amnesty International India's Executive director Aakar Patel titled ‘Why the Ayodhya verdict reminds us of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’ on Sunday. Patel has opined that the 'Supreme Court of India has ruled exactly what Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party wanted'. He has also compared the Ayodhya verdict to Pakistan's SC backing Pakistan Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad dismissing the Pakistan Constituent Assembly in 1945.