Amit Shah takes on Congress over Article 370, Rafale ‘shastra pooja’

Nullifying Article 370 had nothing to do with politics. It was about country's security, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Photo: ANI Twitter.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday (October 9) attacked the Congress for its stand on Article 370 and also took on the party over criticism of the ‘shastra pooja’ performed on the first Rafale aircraft acquired by the country.

“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi opposed scrapping of Article 370. I want to ask Rahul to make it clear whether he is in favour or against the scrapping of Article 370,” the BJP president said at a poll rally here, referring to the abrogation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Congress has to oppose whatever BJP does,” he said. Shah was scheduled to address three public meetings during the day in Haryana, which goes to the polls on October 21.

Also read | Rajnath Singh receives IAF’s first Rafale fighter jet from France

He said there was a feeling among people in the country that Jammu and Kashmir was not fully integrated into the Indian Union with Articles 370 and 35A acting as stumbling blocks. He said nullifying Article 370 had nothing to do with politics. It was about country’s security, but Congress voted against it.”

Congress leaders criticised Rajnath Singh for performing ‘shastra pooja’ at the Merignac airbase, France. Photo: ANI Twitter.

In an apparent reference to comments by some Congress leaders on the shastra pooja performed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, he said Congress people felt bad about this too.” Rajnath Singh took delivery of the multi-role combat aircraft in France on Tuesday (October 7) after performing a traditional Dussehra worship of arms.

“Congress did not like it. Is shastra pooja not performed on Vijayadashami? They should ponder over what needs to be criticised and what not,” said Amit Shah. A political row erupted after Congress hit out at Rajnath Singh for performing shastra pooja during the handover ceremony of Rafale jet in France.

Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit slammed BJP for politising Rafale handover. “Religious context of Vijayadashami and the Rafale aircraft doesn’t match. A festival that all of us celebrate, why should it be linked it with an aircraft?” Sandeep Dikshit had asked.

“Yesterday was Vijayadashami, marking the victory of good over evil. I want to congratulate the prime minister and the defence minister on Rafale,” he said. He attacked former prime minister Manmohan Singh, accusing him of reading out whatever was given to him by madam (Congress president Sonia Gandhi).

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala is seeking re-election from Kaithal. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is seeking a second term in the state and has set itself a target of winning over 75 seats in the 90-member assembly.

(With inputs from agencies)

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