Amid growing demand for Ram temple at a disputed site in Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Congress had asked the Supreme Court to delay hearing the case because of 2019 polls and accused its leaders of threatening to impeach judges.

In his first appearance in Alwar, on Sunday, after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Vasundhara Raje assumed power almost five years back, PM Modi targetted Congress in every aspect of administration and operation — Ram mandir issue, Congress’s delay in naming their chief ministerial candidate for the December 7 assembly elections, and vote-bank politics.

“Congress is dragging judiciary into politics. Congress is creating an atmosphere of fear for the judiciary. One of their leaders asked the Supreme Court to delay the Ayodhya hearing because of 2019 polls. When a judge doesn’t pay heed to their demands, they try to use impeachment to threaten judiciary. But I urge the judiciary to keep on treading the path of justice without any fear,” he said.

Modi’s reference is to Congress leader Kapil Sibal who sought deferment of the Ayodhya site dispute case to until after 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Sibal had sought the deferment as the counsel for the Sunni Waqf Board and told the court that the Ayodhya matter has serious repercussions outside the court.

Hindu leaders and groups have intensified demand for building Ram temple after the Supreme Court in October pushed the hearing in the dispute to January 2019.

Uddhav Thackeray, chief of BJP ally Shiv Sena, has said that the Modi government will not be in power if it does not build a Ram temple.

Hindus believe the 16th-century mosque, Babri Masjid, was built over a temple dedicated to Hindu god Ram, whose birthplace is also considered to be at the site. The mosque was demolished by a mob of thousands in 1992, triggering a cycle of violence and riots across India.

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