Such statements strengthen Pakistan: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister chided the Congress over their criticism of the shashtra puja after the former received the first Rafale fighter jet in France.

Karnal: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chided the Congress over their criticism of the shashtra puja after the former received the first Rafale fighter jet in France, saying that such statements “only strengthens” Pakistan.

“…We are getting a new fighter aircraft which is much stronger. But before using it, we have to do puja. So, I wrote ‘Om’ on the fighter plane and tied a ‘raksha bandhan’ to it. But, Congress leaders started a controversy here. You are objecting to the word ‘Om’? Don’t we say or write ‘Om’ in our homes?” he said during a public rally. “Don’t Christians say ‘Amen’? Don’t Muslims say ‘Ameen’? You (Congress) are raising questions on this? They should have welcomed that Rafale is coming here. Instead, they started criticising. Statements by Congleaders only strengthen Pakistan,” Rajnath said.

Continuing his tirade, the Defence Minister urged the people to give a “befitting reply” to the Congress in the ensuing Assembly elections in Haryana.

“You should give a befitting reply to them in the Assembly elections like how you had given during the LSpolls,” he said. During his visit to France earlier this week, Rajnath had emblazoned the Rafale aircraft with an ‘Om’ and laid flowers, coconut and lemons to ward off the evil eye. The first of the 36 French-built Rafale fighter jet bearing the tail number RB-001 was formally handed over to India on Tuesday. The ceremony coincided with the foundation ceremony of the IAF. Rajnath received flak from Opposition with Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge described Singh performing shashtra Puja as “tamasha” (drama).

Making a remark: Asking the people to re-elect the BJP to power in the state, the Defence Minister took a jibe at Congress & INLD saying that CM Manohar Lal Khattar ran the government in the last five years by working from the grass-root level. Assembly elections are due to be held in the state on October 21. Counting of votes will take place on October 24.