New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, announced that India had become the fourth country in the world to successfully hit a satellite in space with an anti-satellite missile. Indian scientists successfully carried out the anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile test by bringing down one of its satellites in the low-earth orbit 300 kilometres from Earth.
Modi said, “Some time back, our scientists have hit a live satellite 300km away in the low-earth orbit. This was a pre-determined target which has been brought down by an A-SAT. The operation was completed in three minutes. Mission Shakti was a very difficult operation in which very high quality technical capability was required.”
While Modi’s speech projected his government as one that was making India “secure” with such “futuristic projects”, Congress claimed that the events stemmed from the anti-satellite programme was launched during the Manmohan Singh government.
The UPA government had initiated the ASAT program which has reached fruition today— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) March 27, 2019
I congratulate our space scientists & the visionary leadership of Dr Manmohan Singhhttps://t.co/pJHBVGo5GA
Some opposition leaders claimed the announcement to be diversionary tactics by the Modi government, although all of them who criticized the government congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organization and its scientists.
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav claimed the government was seeking to divert people’s attention from issues like unemployment and rural distress.
Today @narendramodi got himself an hour of free TV & divert nation's attention away from issues on ground — #Unemployment #RuralCrisis & #WomensSecurity — by pointing at the sky.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) March 27, 2019
Congratulations @drdo_india & @isro — this success belongs to you. Thank you for making India safer.
CMP leader Sitaram Yechury asked the Election Commission to look into the announcement for possible violation of the Lok Sabha election model code of conduct, which is enforced now.
The country would like to know the special reasons why the Election Commission permitted the achievements of Indian scientists to be politically coloured during the course of the general elections. Our letter to the Election Commission: n/n pic.twitter.com/UAPeF4Xaso— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) March 27, 2019
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, while congratulating the scientists, said it was a publicity stunt by the BJP which seem to be “desperate to oxygen to save the imminent sinking of the BJP boat” and her party was going to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission.
Today’s announcement is yet another limitless drama and publicity mongering by Modi desperately trying to reap political benefits at the time of election. This is a gross violation of Model Code of Conduct. 3/4— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) March 27, 2019
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. We are lodging a complaint with the Election Commission. 4/4— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) March 27, 2019
After the announcement, a number of BJP leaders and ministers congratulated the Modi government and the DRDO.
Congratulations to @DRDO_India & @isro scientists on the success of ‘Mission Shakti’. The success of this mission will help in strengthening India’s defence capabilities. We are proud that our Space & Defence prog has touched unprecedented heights with this glorious achievement.— Chowkidar Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) March 27, 2019
The successful execution of #MissionShakti is a proud, powerful, historical moment for us.— Chowkidar Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) March 27, 2019
Under the visionary leadership of PM @narendramodi ji, today we have become a formidable space power with proven Anti-Satellite Missile capability
Many congrats @DRDO_India & all Indians!
The successful testing of the A-SAT missile is significant because it gives India the capability to shoot down enemy spy weaponized satellites during hostilities. Prior to India, the United States, Russia and China have achieved this capability.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the A-SAT test: