Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said every illegal migrant in the country will be evicted from the country by the next General Elections in 2024, PTI reported. Shah, speaking at an election rally in Kaithal district of Haryana, referred to the illegal migrants as intruders.

Shah also criticised the Congress for its stand on Article 370, and attacked the party for its criticism of the “shastra puja” (weapon worship) performed on the Rafale fighter jet in France, PTI reported. Shastra puja – known as Ayudha puja in South India – in which instruments, tools and weapons are worshipped, is usually performed on Dussehra.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir had nothing to do with politics. “It was about country’s security, but Congress voted against it,” Shah said.

Shah praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status and said those who ruled the country earlier did not have the guts to take such action.

“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi opposed scrapping of Article 370,” he said. “I want to ask Rahul to make it clear whether he is in favour or against the scrapping of Article 370. The Congress has to oppose whatever BJP does.”

He criticised Rahul Gandhi for taking a vacation though the Haryana Assembly elections are scheduled on October 21, ANI reported. “The Congress party has opposed the surgical strikes, air strike, triple talaq bill...I want to ask Rahul Gandhi, what has his party done for the state,” he asked.

Rajnath Singh’s shastra puja

Shah attacked Congress leaders and Opposition mocking Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s “shastra puja” after he received the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets on behalf of the Indian Air Force at the Merignac air base near the French port city of Bordeaux on Tuesday. Singh wrote “Om” on the jet and placed lemons before it as a part of the ritual.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge called the ritual a drama, ANI reported. “When we bought weapons, like the Bofors gun previously purchased, no one went and brought them while showing off,” he said. “Our Air Force officers judge whether they are good or not. These people go, show off, sit inside.”

“Congress has problems with: Air Force modernisation. Indian customs and traditions,” the BJP said in response to Kharge’s comments on Twitter. “For a party used to worshiping Quattrocchi, ‘Shastra Puja’ is naturally a problem. And, Kharge Ji, thank you for reminding us about the Bofors Scam.”

Congress leader Udit Raj said the day “superstition” ends, India would start to manufacture fighter aircraft.

Shah questioned if “shastra puja” was not performed during the Dussehra festival. “But Congress leaders are even opposing this...I want to tell them to think about what should be opposed and what not,” Shah said.

Also read: ‘Rafale to protect us, lemons to protect Rafale’: Twitter reacts to Rajnath Singh’s shastra pooja

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