BJP-Congress in Rafale dogfight over Rajnath Singh's Shastra Puja in France

At an election rally in Haryana’s Kaithal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the sole purpose of the grand old party was to oppose the BJP.

Published: 10th October 2019 06:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2019 09:49 AM   |  A+A-

Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has a ritual gesture onto a Rafale jet fighter during the handover cermony at the Dassault Aviation plant in France's Merignac on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. France has delivered to India its first Rafale fighter jet from a series of 36 aircraft purchased in a multi-billion dollar deal in 2016.

Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has a ritual gesture onto a Rafale jet fighter during the handover cermony at the Dassault Aviation plant in France's Merignac on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. France has delivered to India its first Rafale fighter jet from a series of 36 aircraft purchased in a multi-billion dollar deal in 2016. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: The BJP and the Congress traded barbs over the Shastra Puja of Rafale jets by Defence Minister Rajnath, with the opposition party called it as “drama” and the ruling party hitting back with a ‘Bofors’ barb.

At an election rally in Haryana’s Kaithal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the sole purpose of the grand old party was to oppose the BJP.

“Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performed Shastra puja in France as per Indian traditions and it seems the Congress does not like it. Is ‘Shastra Puja’ not performed on Vijayadashami? They should think what needs to be criticised and what not. Congress people felt bad about this too,’’ he said.

Taking a dig on Rahul Gandhi, Shah said, “At the time of elections in Haryana and  Maharashtra, Rahul Gandhi has gone off on a holiday.’’

The debate over Shastra Puja became fierce after Congress leader Rashid Alvi said the government was indulging in ‘dramatics’.

“This is a government of dramatics. You are going to France and performing puja, wasn’t the Rafale jet coming to India? You are going to a foreign country and doing all this drama,” Alvi told reporters.

Later, Alvi’s colleague Mallikarjuna Kharge said the former Rajya Sabha MP was not referring to the puja but was questioning as to why politicians were getting involved in Rafale delivery and other technical matters.

“I only said that in Rafale and other technical matters, it is the Air Force and Army that deal with it and why are politicians getting involved,” he told a news agency.

But, the BJP went on launch a frontal attack on the Congress.

In a tweet, the BJP said that the opposition party has problems with the 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 Rajiv Gandhi.

Later, Union minister Prakash Javadekar and BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain kept the pressure on the Congress over the episode.

Kamal Nath begins Jhabua roadshow

BHOPAL: To regain Congress’s lost citadel Jhabua Assembly seat, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath embarked on a mega 18-km roadshow in Jhabua town on Wednesday. Nath embarked on road-show from Gopalpura airstrip to Kalyanpura area of Jhabua district. It was the second road-show by the chief minister within nine days in the Assembly constituency where a by-election is slated on October 21.

Adityanath to go for whirlwind poll tour

LUCKNOW: With voting day approaching fast in Haryana and Maharashtra and also for 11 assembly seats of UP, CM Yogi Adityanath wil hold a whirlwind poll campaign from Thursday onwards.  As per the party sources, the CM is expected to address 11 public meetings in three-four days. He is likely expected to be in Maharashtra on Thursday and Haryana on Friday, Saturday.

With agency inputs

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