Soon after performing 'Shastra Puja' of Rafale fighter jet, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh faced staunch criticism from opposition. Rajnath Singh, who arrived in Delhi from France on Thursday, finally opened up on the opposition’s criticism over performing of ‘Shastra puja’. He said, "People can say whatever they want. I did what I thought was right and I will continue to do so. This is our faith, that there is a superpower and I have believed it since childhood."
The Defence Minister said, "People from all religions have the right to pray according to their beliefs. I would not have objected if someone else had done the same. I feel there must have been a difference of opinion over the issue in Congress as well, it would not have been everybody's opinion."
Rajnath Singh also asserted that India does not intend to intimidate anyone by increasing its defence capabilities. "After induction of Rafale fighter aircraft, the combat capability of the Indian Air Force will increase. We don't want to intimidate anyone by doing so. We will neither fear anyone nor will we intimidate," he added.
The Minister also stated that seven Rafale fighter jets will arrive in India by April or May next year. "Seven Rafale jets will arrive in India by April or May. The aircraft is capable of reaching up to the speed of 1800 kmph. I flew in a Rafale jet at the speed of 1,300 kmph. The credit for the successful acquisition of the jets goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Rajnath Singh.
Speaking about the controversy over the Rafale deal, Rajnath Singh said, "Baseless accusations were levelled against the Prime Minister over the Rafale deal and strong language was used against him. I think the people of the country have given a befitting response to that."
In the end, Rajnath Singh noted that some IAF officers were undergoing training in France to operate the aircraft.