New Delhi: As Congress criticised Union defence minister Rajnath Singh’s Shastra Puja in France, a war of words began on Wednesday between the BJP and the Congress — which also spilled on to social media.

Shastra Puja — worshipping of weapons — is a traditional ritual observed on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. Rajnath also wrote an ‘Om’ in Sanskrit on the body of aircraft. Lemon was also placed in front of the wheels — a practice to ward off the evil eye.

 

Calling the puja part a ‘tamasha’, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that several defence purchases were made during the Congress regime. But there was no show-off like the one Rajnath Singh apparently did. Taking a swipe at the Congress’s indignation at this ritual, Union home minister Amit Shah said at a Haryana rally that the Congress has no issue. “Is ‘Shastra Puja’ not performed on Vijayadashami? I want to tell them (the Congress) — ‘Think about what should be opposed and what not’,” he said.

Taking a cue from Mallikarjun Kharge’s Bofors mention, the BJP took a dig at the Congress and tweeted that since the Congress used to worship Quattrocchi, Shastra Puja must be a problem for them. Ottavio Quattrocchi was an Italian businessman who was being sought until early 2009 in India for criminal charges for acting as a middleman in the Bofors scandal.

Meanwhile, rebel Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam extended his support for Shastra Puja.  There is no need to read too much between the lines, he said.