Shastra Puja divides Congress, Sanjay Nirupam slams Kharge as atheist for tamasha remark

India Today

BJP leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's Shastra Puja has left Congress bruised. The opposition party is divided over the puja, conducted by Rajnath Singh on the newly-inducted Rafale fighter jet in France on Tuesday.

While senior party leader Malikarjun Kharge termed it as a tamasha, Sanjay Nirupam said that the ceremony was an Indian tradition. Sanjay Nirupam, who recently threatened to quit the party, termed Kharge and atheist and said that people like him do not represent the party's view.

"'Shastra puja' cannot be called a tamasha. There has been an old tradition of 'Shastra puja' in our country.

The problem is that Kharge Ji (Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge) is an atheist. In the Congress party, not everyone is an atheist," Sanjay Nirupam said.

A row erupted after Congress party's several leaders hit out at Rajnath Singh for performing Shastra puja on Rafale jet. Senior Congress leader Malikarjun Kharge said, "There is no need to do such 'tamasha' (drama). When we bought weapons-like the Bofors gun previously purchased, no one went and brought them while showing off."

Sanjay Nirupam's remarks came after BJP chief Amit Shah said that Congress party was against Indian traditions.

"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 not," Amit Shah said while addressing a rally in poll-bound Haryana's Loharu.

The BJP's official Twitter handle also took potshots at the opposition party, "Congress has problems with: Air Force modernisation. Indian customs and traditions. For a Party used to worshiping Quattrocchi, 'Shastra Puja' is naturally a problem."

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