NEW DEHLI: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh received the first unit of Indian Air Force’s Rafale fighter jet from France on Tuesday.
The long-awaited French-made aircraft was acquired by the Indian Air Force at a handover ceremony in Merignac where Rajnath Singh performed a shastra puja on Rafale as he emblazoned it with an ‘Om’. Shastra puja, the weapons’ worship as part of Dussehra celebrations, however, has now come under criticism with the Opposition slamming the BJP-led government for giving a religious spin to the handover ceremony.Accusing the NarendraModi government of saffronising the Rafale handover, Congress leader SandeepDikshit asked, “This religious context of Vijayadashami and the Rafale aircraft doesn’t match. A festival that all of us celebrate, why should it be linked it with an aircraft?”
The Congress leader said the defence forces should have received the Rafale and not Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. “This is the whole problem with this government. They dramatise everything without any substantive work,” SandeepDikshit said.
Former AAP leader AlkaLamba, who recently joined the Congress, also hit out at the government over shastra puja of Rafale. “If former Defence Minister AK Antony would have been the Minister of Defence or former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had this fortune today, what would have happened had they taken the Bible or Quran as per their religion like Rajnath Singh?” AlkaLamba wrote on Twitter. AlkaLamba also went on to mock Rajnath Singh as she tweeted a photo of lemons placed under the wheels of the jet.