Opposition describes the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an attempt to hog the limelight.
The opposition greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise announcement of the successful conclusion of Mission Shakti with kudos for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), but also pointed out the announcement by the Prime Minister was an attempt to hog the limelight.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a cheeky tweet congratulated the DRDO and ISRO on the success of Mission Shakti but, as an aside to Prime Minister Modi, wished him a “very Happy World Theatre Day”.
The party on its part, tweeted out congratulations to the DRDO and ISRO and made it a point to refer to the contribution of former Congress prime ministers to India’s space programme. “We congratulate @isro and the government on the latest achievement for India. The Indian Space Programme established in 1961 by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Smt Indira Gandhi has always made India proud with its ground breaking achievements,” said the party via its official twitter handle.
Former ISRO chairman K. Kasturirangan said he was proud that the country successfully demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability and termed it a crucial step in the space.
“All I can say is it’s a very, very great event,” Mr. Kasturirangan told PTI.
“And we are all proud that we have taken the next step in the space, a very critical, crucial and probably a very difficult step to have taken successfully,” he said.
The first off the block was former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav who tweeted, “today, @narendramodi got himself an hour of free TV and divert the nation’s attention away from issues on the ground – #Unemployment #RuralCrisis and #WomensSecurity – by pointing to the sky. Congratulations @drdo_india and @isro- this success belongs to you. Thank you for making India safer.”
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also credited the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for initiating the ASAT (Anti-Satellite) programme and lauded then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s leadership. “The UPA government had initiated the ASAT program which has reached fruition today. I congratulate our space scientists & the visionary leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh,” Mr. Patel tweeted
Tejaswi Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) openly implied that Prime Minister Modi was “nervous” and that the announcement had proven it, adding a jaunty “Don’t worry, sako ‘Nyaya’milega” he tweeted, referring to ally Congress’ income guarantee scheme announced as part of its manifesto.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati accused PM Modi of playing politics over anti-satellite missile capability, and said the Election Commission must take note.
The Trinamool Congress criticised PM Modi for trying to “take the credit” of the achievement of space scientists in shooting down a live satellite. The party said this would not have any impact on the poll prospects of the BJP in the upcoming elections.
“Narendra Modi should stop taking credit for the achievement or job done by others. Shooting down a satellite is the credit of our scientists. The Modi government in the last five years has failed to provide any relief to the people of the country,” senior TMC leader and West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim said.
“So ahead of the elections, the BJP and Modi should stop these tricks to fool the masses. It won’t have any impact on the poll prospects of the BJP in the upcoming elections,” Mr. Hakim said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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