Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday criticised the Congress for mocking him for conducting “shastra puja [weapon worship]” in France on October 8 after receiving the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets, ANI reported.

Singh was derided by the Opposition and social-media users for writing “Om” on the jet and placing lemons before it. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had called the ritual a drama. “When we bought weapons, like the Bofors gun previously purchased, no one went and brought them while showing off,” he had said. “Our Air Force officers judge whether they are good or not. These people go, show off, sit inside.”

“Worshiping weapons during Vijayadashami is a tradition,” Singh said at an election rally in Haryana’s Bhiwani district. “When I wrote ‘Om’ on the Rafale jet, people said why I wrote it. I want to ask Rahul Gandhi if not ‘Om’, then what should I have written during shastra puja?”

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


The Bharatiya Janata Party leader accused Congress of internationalising the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status, pointing out that it was an internal matter, PTI reported.

He was referring to the meeting between Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and the United Kingdom unit of the Indian Overseas Congress on October 10. After the meeting, the British party had passed a resolution seeking international intervention in Kashmir.

“I want to ask Congress leaders where are human rights violations taking place?” Singh asked. “Human rights violations were taking place when terrorist activities were occurring [in Kashmir]. Why did you not speak at that time?”

The minister lashed out at the Opposition party for not paying attention to terrorism in the conflict-ridden region. “They have created a strange situation,” he claimed. “What has happened to them? It seems they have lost their mind.”

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