Nothing wrong in Rafale jet puja

ST CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, 12 October 2019

While addressing the media in the city on Friday, Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman strongly defended Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s act of performing first Rafale jet’s puja.

PUNE: While addressing the media in the city on Friday, Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman strongly defended Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s act of performing first Rafale jet’s puja.  Sitharaman said, “Singh performed the puja at the Merignac airbase in France after being handed over first Rafale jet and this is a part of our culture. Similarly, performing the ‘shastra’ (weapon) puja on Vijayadashami has been the tradition of our country. I don’t think there is anything wrong in it.” 
 
Govt believe in science and development  
She gave the reference of social media posts that earlier government’s defence minister while taking charge, shifted office arrangement and conducted a puja along with his wife. “At that time no one raised this point of superstition,” she questioned. 

She further said, “He (Rajnath Singh) did everything right. It was the same government which has been inspiring ISRO women scientists. It doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in science and development. It was part of our culture and tradition to do shastra puja on Vijayadashmi, I don’t think there is anything wrong in it.” 

Art 370 important issue 
While answering the question regarding party deliberately promoting issue of abolition of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to divert attention from other important issues related to the economy, Sitharaman said, “Abolition of article 370 was an important issue. It was not raised eyeing the elections in  Maharashtra and Haryana. The country was waiting for it for long. I think every Indian should be proud that eventually, that step was taken. Every measure was been taken to keep J&K calm and peaceful and not one bullet has been fired. Schools have been opened and people were back doing their business. That was an important issue for everybody and not just one election in Maharashtra State.” 

Deep structural reform  
Sitharaman further explained, “Article 370 and economy are different issues. We are making announcements almost every week to stabilise the economy. 

The decision regarding corporate tax was one of them and it was considered to a deep structural reform. It was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We have been concerned regarding industry, consumers and we are trying to review the economy. We have been giving equal importance to economic issues.”

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