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Mission Shakti: Opposition congratulates scientists, attacks PM for taking credit


ANI Politics
Opposition leaders on Wednesday congratulated scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for Mission Shakti but also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking credit of the accomplishment.
Congress president congratulated the scientists but took a satiric potshot at the PM. "Well done DRDO, extremely proud of your work. I would also like to wish the PM a very happy World Theatre Day" he posted on his official twitter handle.
In a veiled attack at Rahul Gandhi Amit Shah tweeted saying, "The Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile was successfully tested in space but it seems a few people on Earth have also got hurt. After spending a lifetime of humiliating our soldiers, Leaders of the Opposition have expanded their influence to ridiculing our scientists. Well done!"
Echoing similar sentiments as Patel, Shashi Tharoor said, "Proud of our scientists who have continued the fine tradition of excellence in rocket & satellite technology on which India was launched by Nehruji. Glad to see @DRDO_India add one more achievement to a long list!"
Attacking the Prime Minister, he tweeted, "Since there is no imminent ban, & the timing reeks purely of electoral point-scoring, while ignoring the strategic & diplomatic consequences of such a test, @PMOIndia has raised troubling questions for our national security today. We are proud of our scientists; less so of our Govt."
Meanwhile, Former DRDO chief VK Saraswat praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the successful test of India's first anti-satellite weapon--A-SAT.
Dr Saraswat told ANI, "If today nations across the world want to militarise the space, India has the technological capability to match them. We use space only for peaceful purposes and that is what Prime Minister Modi has been saying. This launch is not against any nation. It is basically to create a technological capability in India."
Senior leader Ahmed Patel claimed that the program initiated under the UPA government had reached fruition.
"The UPA government had initiated the ASAT program which has reached fruition today. I congratulate our space scientists and the visionary leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh," Patel said on Twitter.
However, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad opined that the Prime Minister, in particular, deserves praise for the success of the mission.
"It is a historic day, India has emerged as a big space power for which all the scientists and the Prime Minister, in particular, deserve full praise. I compliment the scientists and the Prime Minister," Prasad said.
These remarks come after the Prime Minister on Wednesday announced that India's anti-satellite weapon A-SAT has successfully destroyed a live satellite on a low earth orbit, joining a group of three countries - the US, Russia and China - with such capability.
"India has entered its name as an elite space power. It is the fourth country to achieve this feat after the US, Russia and China. The 'Mission Shakti' operation was a difficult target to achieve, which was completed successfully within three minutes of the launch," he said in an address to the nation.
The Prime Minister said India has enough satellites that are contributing in various segments such as agriculture, disaster management, communication, weather, and navigation.
Anti-satellite weapons or A-SAT are space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes. Although no A-SAT system has yet been utilised in warfare, a few nations have shot down their own (defunct) satellites to demonstrate their A-SAT capabilities in a show of force. Before India successfully tested A-SAT weapon, US, Russia, and China have demonstrated this capability successfully.

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First Published: Mar 27 2019 | 9:48 PM IST

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