A-SAT test: Praise pours in, Congress says UPA initiated

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New Delhi: Politicians across party lines on Wednesday congratulated the DRDO and space scientists for making India “a space superpower” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that anti-satellite missile A-SAT successfully targeted a live satellite on low earth orbit, even as they criticised the government for taking credit and violating the election model code of conduct.

The Congress said credit for the A-SAT test goes to the UPA government’s initiation, while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Prime Minister of violating the model code of conduct.

President Ram Nath Kovind in his tweet called Mission Shakti a watershed moment for India. “Testing of the Anti-Satellite Missile demonstrates India’s scientific prowess and commitment to harnessing space technology for the security and empowerment of our people. My congratulations to all concerned,” he tweeted.

In his tweet, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “Compliment our Scientists on their successful launch of anti-satellite missile. We, as a nation, are proud of our Scientists. #MissionShakti #ASAT.”

Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Well done DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), extremely proud of your work. I would also like to wish the PM a very happy World Theatre Day.”

In its series of tweets, the Congress said: “We congratulate @isro @DRDO_India and the Govt on the latest achievement for India. The Indian Space Programme established in 1962 by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Indira Gandhi has always made India proud through its achievements.

“@DRDO_India set up in 1958 under Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first goverment agency to begin defence research and development. It has played a pivotal role in equipping our defence forces with the latest technological developments. In April 1975, the country waited with bated breath as @isro launched its first satellite – Aryabhata – and thus began our journey into the final frontier.”

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in a tweet said “the UPA government had initiated the A-SAT program which has reached fruition today. I congratulate our space scientists and the visionary leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh”.

Congratulations to DRDO for the success, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted that “building blocks for Mission Shakti were laid during UPA-Cong Govt in 2012. India has been at forefront of space technology owing to vision of Pandit Nehru & Vikram Sarabhai. Proud moment for India!”.

Mamata Banerjee called the announcement “another limitless drama and publicity mongering by PM Modi, desperately trying to reap political benefits at the time of election. This is a gross violation of the model code of conduct”.

“There is no great urgency in conducting and announcing the mission now by a government past its expiry date. It seems a desperate oxygen to save the imminent sinking of the BJP boat.”

The Chief Minister said they would be ‘lodging a complaint with the Election Commission’.

According to her, the scientists deserve the credit and like always, the Prime Minister took credit for the success of ‘Mission Shakti’.

“Research, space management and development are a continuous process. Modi, as usual, likes to take the credit for everything. Credit to those who really deserve it, our scientists and researchers,” Banerjee said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated the DRDO and entire scientific community in achieving yet another milestone by successfully testing the ASAT technology.

Rajathan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in his tweet congratulated the scientists of DRDO for the success of Mission Shakti and for making India as an “elite space power”. “We are so proud of the achievements and efforts of DRDO towards strengthening the country’s security since its inception in 1958.”

Published on: Mar 27, 2019 at 17:38 IST


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