Mumbai, October 10: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar expressed surprise at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performing “Shastra Puja” while receiving the Rafale aircraft and questioned the Singh's alleged act of hanging "lemon-chilli" on the Rafale aircraft. Taking a jibe at India's Defence Minister, Pawar said that he is all for national security but added that hanging "lemon-chilli" resembled the practice of hanging lemon-chilli on a newly-purchased truck. India Gets First Rafale Jet, Rajnath Singh Performs Shastra Puja | Historic Moment for Indian Armed Forces.
The long-awaited Rafale was acquired by the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a handover ceremony in Merignac. Singh performed a Shastra Puja on Rafale as he made an 'Om' on it and offered flowers and coconut on the fighter jet. The Defence Minister then took to Twitter and shared pictures where he wrote that worshipping weapons on Vijayadashami has been a tradition in India.
"I have no doubts on the decision taken for national security. What can one say when lemon-chilli is hung on Rafale aircraft with the idea of protecting it from curse just like it's hung on a newly-purchased truck," said Pawar in his remark.
Read the Tweet Below
Sharad Pawar, NCP: I have no doubts on the decision taken for national security. But I have read, I don't know if it is true, but what can one say when lemon-chilli is hung on Rafale aircraft with the idea of protecting it from curse just like it's hung on a newly-purchased truck pic.twitter.com/z3U04i2Qhm
— ANI (@ANI) October 10, 2019
On Wednesday, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge took a dig at the government for performing Rafale's Shastra Puja by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in France terming it as "tamasha" (drama) and show off.
Kharge said, "There is no need to do such tamasha. 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)", Kharge added. On Tuesday, the Congress slammed the government for giving a religious angle to the handover ceremony.