Kharge Calls Puja for Rafale 'Tamasha', Nirupam Calls Him Atheist

The Quint
Mallikarjun Kharge (left) and Sanjay Nirupam

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performing 'Shastra puja' of the first Rafale fighter jet plane in France on Tuesday, 8 October, has not only raked up a political storm, but has also left the Congress divided.

As AICC General Secretary Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday called it a 'tamasha' (theatrics), senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said Kharge is an atheist and his view is not necessarily the party's view.

Slamming the episode, Kharge had said the Congress did not show off when they bought weapons like the Bofors gun.

"These people go, show off, sit inside (the aircraft)," he said, referring to the sortie Rajnath took in the aircraft after performing the rituals, adding that the Indian Air Force (IAF) officers will judge whether the jets are good or not.

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Asked to react on Kharge's comments, Nirupam said that they should not be taken as the party's view.

Kharge's comments has drawn ire of the Bharatiya Janata Party, with party chief Amit Shah attacking the Congress at an election rally in Haryana.

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