Miffed Mumbai Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Wednesday said 'Shastra Puja' cannot be called a “tamasha” as termed by Mallikarjun Kharge after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performed it on the first Rafale fighter aircraft acquired by the country on Tuesday, claiming that his senior colleague is an atheist.
"Shastra puja cannot be called a tamasha. There has been an old tradition of shastra puja in our country. The problem is that Mallikarjun Kharge ji is an atheist. In the Congress party, not everyone is an atheist," Nirupam told news agency ANI.
In an interview to ANI, Kharge took a dig at the central government and said: “There is no need to do such 'tamasha' (drama). When we bought weapons-like the Bofors gun previously purchased, no one went and brought them while showing off.” “Our Air Force officers judge whether they are good or not. These people go, show off, sit inside the aircraft,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah attacked the Congress for its stand on Article 370 and also took on the party over criticism of the ‘shastra puja’.
In an apparent reference to comments by some Congress leaders on the ‘shastra puja’ performed by Singh, he said “Congress people felt bad about this too.
"Rajnath Singh took delivery of the multi-role combat aircraft in France on Tuesday after performing a traditional Dussehra worship of arms."Yesterday was Vijayadashami, marking the victory of good over evil... I want to congratulate the prime minister and the defence minister on Rafale," he said.