The BJP led by its chief Amit Shah on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the Congress over its criticism of Shastra Puja on the Rafale fighter jet, saying those who “used to worship Quattrocchi, ‘Shastra Puja’ is now a problem” for them.
Taking on the Congress over the issue, Shah in an election rally in Kaithal in Haryana said it has been a tradition to worship weapons on the occasion of Vijay Dashmi.
“We worship weapons on Vijaydashmi to take a pledge to end evil, and the same was done in case of Rafale, but for the Congress, it is ‘tamasha’. After repeated defeats, the Congress is frustrated and doesn’t know what it is opposing,” he said.
Shah was responding to Congress’s criticism of the Shastra Puja carried by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday in France while receiving the first Rafale fighter jet.
Singh formally took delivery of the first of the 36 long-awaited French-made aircraft acquired by the Indian Air Force at a ceremony in Merignac (France). He performed puja on the new aircraft as he emblazoned it with an ‘Om’ tilak and laid flowers and coconut, just before he took a sortie in the two-seater jet.
Terming the entire event of receiving jet and Shastra pooja as “drama”, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said this is a government of dramatics while accusing it of ignoring the real issues.
His party colleague Mallikarjuna Kharge also questioned the timing of the puja saying the aircraft will still take at least 6-8 months to come to India.
Countering the Congress, the BJP in a tweet said that the opposition party has problems with modernisation of Air Force and even Indian customs and traditions.
“For a party used to worshipping Quattrocchi, ‘Shastra Puja’ is naturally a problem,” the ruling party said taking a dig at the Congress over the Bofors deal made by the government headed by former Prime Minister and its president Sonia Gandhi’s husband Rajiv Gandhi.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said the country has a tradition of Shastra Puja on Vijay Dashmi and there is nothing wrong in it, adding “the Congress has lost its way.”
Echoing similar sentiments, BJP’s spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said it was Indian Air Force Day and also Vijayadashami when a Rafale jet was handed over. Worshipping weapons on Vijayadashami is a tradition.
“If India is getting advanced aircraft like Rafale, Pakistan should be worried, why is the Congress so worried,” he questioned.