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The Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC)  will file a petition in the Supreme Court in case the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre brings in an ordinance paving way for the construction of a grand Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, an office-bearer said on Wednesday.He said the BMAC took the decision at a meeting on Tuesday.

The move comes ahead of the January 4 hearing by the apex court on the matter.

While right-wing groups and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) have been pressing for the ordinance, the opposition has been seeking a court verdict on the contentious issue.

One of the 70 persons, who attended the meeting, said it was a routine one and had no specific agenda. Though the possibility of the Modi government bringing in an ordinance or a legislation on the temple issue was discussed.

Convenor of the BMAC Zafaryab Jilani said the committee would also urge the Supreme Court to not rush through the matter and pronounce a verdict only after going through all aspects and studying all relevant papers and documents.

The BMAC members were also of the view that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) electoral defeats in three states, the whipping up of passion on the temple issue and the pro-temple statements by senior BJP leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister  Yogi ADITYANATH could not be taken in isolation or lightly.

The BMAC  has also appealed to Muslims to refrain from reacting to any inflammatory statement on the Ram temple issue ahead of the resumption of hearing in the case in the Supreme Court next week. BMAC convenor Jilani said the appeal was issued at a meeting of the action committee here. The meeting expressed satisfaction over the progress of the matter in the court.

The top court had in October rejected an urgent hearing after the Uttar Pradesh government argued that it was a 100-year-old dispute that should be taken up on priority. The decision to move the case to January was seen by many to have dimmed hopes for a verdict before the Lok Sabha election a few months hence.

It triggered loud demands for an ordinance within the BJP and various groups linked to its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to pave way for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The apex court is scheduled to take up a batch of petitions for hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case on January 4.

The matter is listed before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul. The bench is likely to constitute a three-judge bench for hearing as many as 14 appeals filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

 –India Legal Bureau

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