Sanjay Nirupam slams Kharge for calling Rafale puja a drama, says not all in Congress atheist

Former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam on Wednesday slammed senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge for calling the tradition of ‘shastra puja’ a ‘tamasha’ (drama). He added that Kharge is an atheist but not every Congress leader is an atheist and there are many in the party who value India’s tradition.

“The tradition of ‘shastra puja’ cannot be called a tamasha. There has been an old tradition of ‘shastra puja’ in our country. The problem is that Kharge ji is an atheist… But, in the Congress party, not everyone is an atheist,” Nirupam said.

It may be recalled that Defence Minister Rajanth Singh had performed Rafale shastra puja (worship of weapons) during the handover ceremony of the fighter jet in France on Tuesday.

Kharge had criticised the defence minister for performing ‘shastra puja’ saying it was a drama and the minister should not have done the puja. “There is no need to do such ‘tamasha’ (drama). When we bought weapons-like the Bofors gun previously purchased, no one went & brought them while showing off,” Kharge told ANI.

Earlier on Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had slammed the Congress for criticising Defence Minister for performing Rafale shastra puja. Shah said at an election rally in Haryana that the Defence Minister performed the puja as per Indian traditions and Congress should think over what needs to be criticised and what not.

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Rajnath Singh took the handover of the first of the 36 Rafale jet on Tuesday and also became the first defence minister to fly in Rafale. He took a 35-minute-long sortie in a Rafale fighter jet after taking off from Dassault Aviation Mérignac facility in France.

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