Congress opposing Rafale shastra poojan, they should think before criticising: Amit Shah in Haryana poll rally

Home Minister Amit Shah at the rally in Kaithal on Wednesday. (Photo: Twitter/BJP)

Addressing an election rally in Haryana's Kaithal, Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday said the Congress had "opposed" Rafale jet's 'shastra poojan' (weapon worship) by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and the party should ponder over what it chooses to criticise.

"Modiji brought in the Rafale aircraft and Rajnath ji did its 'shastra poojan' in France on Vijayadashmi. But the Congress is opposing that too. I would like to tell them that every night, they should ponder over what needs to be opposed, what not," Shah said.

Shah said Vijayadashmi symbolises the victory of good over evil, and is also the day when weapons are traditionally worshipped. "I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister for inducting the Rafale jets into the Air Force on this significant day, bolstering national security," he added.

Earlier today, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge dubbed the handover ceremony in France as "tamasha (drama)", and the Congress did not "show off" when it bought weapons like the Bofors gun.

"There is no need to do such 'tamasha'. When we bought weapons like the Bofors gun no one wnet and brought them while showing off," he told news agency ANI.

Former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, who recently said he would not campaing for the party in Maharashtra, said "not everyone in the Congress is an atheiest like Kharge ji"

"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 (Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge) is an atheist. In the Congress party, not everyone is an atheist," he told ANI.

Article 370, Balakot air strike

Raising the issue of Article 370, Shah said: "On August 5, PM Modi did away with Article 370. For 70 years, every Indian had felt Jammu and Kashmir was not fully a part of India. Even those who had ruled for three generations did not have the courage to scrap Article 370."

The Home Minister also spoke on the government's actions against terrorism, saying: "Through the surgical strike and the Balakot air strike, Modiji has shown the world that no one can take our border security lightly and that we know the value of our soldiers' lives."

Shah said the "brave land of Haryana" contributes the most number of soldiers to India's Army. Praising Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's government, the BJP president said Haryana had seen significant change in the past five years.

"Earlier, governments in Haryana would be of one particular caste. Khattar's government has no caste, it's the government of every Haryana resident," Shah said.

Shah also congratulated the state for improving its gender ratio. "Earlier, Haryana had a bad name for female foeticide. Modiji came here and made an appeal for 'beti bachao, beti padhao'. Today, I would like to congratulate Haryana for showing the biggest improvement in its gender ratio."

Talking about the Howdy Modi event held in the US recently, Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earned respect for India globally. "The whole world praised India after the Howdy Modi event. This respect, this plaudits are not for Modiji, not for BJP, but for India. Congress leaders claim PM Modi goes on frequent foreign trips. But I did some research and found out that in five years, Manmohan Singh made more trips abroad than Modiji," Shah said.

On the economy, Shah said under PM Modi's leadership, India was now among the rapidly growing economies of the world, and would soon be a Rs 5-trillion economy.

On the Opposition, Shah said their leadership looked clueless. "The election season has begun, but the Opposition is still figuring out whether to start their campaign from the east, west, south or north. They are directionless," the Home Minister said.

Haryana goes to polls on October 21. Counting of votes is on October 24.