New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh late on Thursday night returned to New Delhi from his three-day tour to France for the official handover of the first Rafale combat aircraft, that stirred a row among opposition leaders in the country.
Defending the ‘Shastra Puja’ performed on the occasion of Dussehra on the first Rafale jet received, Singh said, “I did what I thought was appropriate. This is our faith that there is a superpower and I have believed it since childhood. I feel there must have been a division over the issue in Congress too, it must not have been everybody’s opinion.”
A war of words had spilled over social media after the Defence Minister took the Indian tradition to France for the acceptance of the much-talked-about Rafale deal. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had slammed the BJP calling the puja a ‘tamasha‘ (nuisance), and stating that it was completely unnecessary. Prior to that, party leader Sandeep Dikshit bashed the BJP and accused the party for ‘saffronising’ the Rafale handover which was supposed to be a defence deal without any religious connotations.
Hitting back at the rival, BJP president and Home Minister Amit Shah said that Congress has no idea what to criticise or where to begin from to campaign for the election.
Bashing the Congress for their discouragement over the ‘Shastra Puja’ performed on first Rafale jet aircraft received by India, Shah said, “Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performed ‘Shashtra Pujan’ of Rafale yesterday in France. Congress did not like it. Is ‘Shashtra Pujan’ not performed on Vijayadashami? They should ponder over what needs to be criticised and what doesn’t.”
Notably, Shastra Pooja is an old Hindu tradition where warriors perform pooja of their arms and weapons. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his days as chief minister also used to perform Shastra pooja on every Dushehra of both ancient and modern arms.