‘He’s just following customs’: Singhvi defends Rajnath Singh’s Rafale ‘Shastra Puja’
New Delhi, Oct 10: Amid criticism over Rajnath Singh performing 'Shastra Puja' at the Rafale jet handover event in France, Abhishek Manu Singhvi backed the union minister saying that he was just following the rituals.
"Only two things are infinite, universe and exaggeration. Looking at this tweet, latter beats the former. Jokes aside l, if an Indian is performing a Pooja as per Indian customs, there is no need to deride it. Raksha Mantri is just following customs," Singhvi said in a tweet while responding to a post mocking Rajnath Singh's move.
Rajnath Singh had performed 'Shastra Puja' on the brand new aircraft- the traditional veneration of weapons on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami.
He also wrote 'Om' with vermillion and offered flowers during the ritual before setting off for a sortie in the fighter jet.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had described the puja as "tamasha" (drama) and said that the Congress did not "show off" when it purchased the Bofors gun.
India had ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016. While the formal handover ceremony takes place this week, the first batch of four Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India by May 2020.
All 36 jets are expected to arrive in India by September 2022, for which the IAF has been reportedly undertaking preparations, including readying required infrastructure and training of pilots.
The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. The manufacturers describe it as a fully versatile aircraft which can carry out all combat aviation missions to achieve air superiority and air defence, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.