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Indian Defence Minister used lemons on Rafale to ward off spirits; Twitter has a field day 

In your daily dose of ‘What’s trending on Twitter’, Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh received the very first unit of the much-awaited French-made Rafale aircraft in France. A simple post of the update and the Twitteratti roasted Singh left, right and centre.

Social media users unleashed all hell on the minister for placing lemons under the jet’s wheels, a coconut on its top and for writing OM on the defence dynamic to ward off evil. Pictures of Rajnath Singh featured him taking delivery of the 36 long-awaited French-made aircraft now acquired by the Indian Air Force. He was at Merignac airbase near Bordeaux in France where he performed the Shastra Puja, and within minutes hashtag #RafalePujaPolitics began to trend on Twitter.

A Twitter user commented on the post, “First buy Rafale to protect country… Then buy nimboo to protect Rafale.” Another posted an old speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi mocking people who place lemon-chilli in their vehicles to ward off evil. Not ones to be left behind, the Congress slammed the BJP government for giving a religious spin to the handover ceremony. 

After the formal handover of the first of the 36 Rafale jets,  Singh had performed a Shastra Puja, the traditional veneration of weapons on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. He wrote the Sanskrit word “Om” on the body of the aircraft, sprinkled it with flowers and made a coconut offering. He also placed a lime next to each of the front wheels, a practice meant to ward off evil, before flying off on a sortie in the jet. 



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