BJP counters Congress' 'Tamasha' jibe on 'Shastra Puja' with Bofors retort
New Delhi: Union minister Rajnath Singh's "Shastra puja" in front of the first Rafale fighter jet handed over by France on Tuesday has generated debate.
While the Congress has slammed it as "tamasha"(drama) and "superstition", Singh's cabinet colleague and BJP chief Amit Shah has lashed out, questioning the Congress's choice of issues to criticise the BJP. The BJP also said the Congress is used to worshipping Ottavio Quattrocchi, the alleged middleman in the Bofors deal. Congress Sanjay Nirupam joined the fray, calling his own party's critics "atheists", NDTV reported.
On Tuesday, after taking the formal handover of the first of the 36 Rafale jets in France, Rajnath Singh had performed a "Shastra puja" -- the traditional veneration of weapons on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami.
In front of the gathering, he wrote the Sanskrit word "Om" on the body of the aircraft, sprinkled it with flowers and offered up a coconut. Finally, he placed a lime in front of the wheels -- a practice meant to ward off evil -- before flying off on a sortie in the jet.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge called it a "tamasha" (drama), pointing out that the Congress made no such display when the Bofors guns were purchased.
"There is no need to do such ''tamasha''. When we bought weapons like the Bofors gun previously purchased, no one went and brought them while showing off," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.