New Delhi | The Congress on Wednesday congratulated ISRO and the government for acquiring anti-satellite missile capability but extended credit to former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, while a senior party leader said the ‘ASAT’ programme was initiated during UPA rule.
Deflecting attention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who announced in an address to the nation that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite, the Congress and several of its leaders focused on giving credit to India’s space scientists.
“We congratulate @isro & the Govt on the latest achievement for India. The Indian Space Programme established in 1961 by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru & the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Smt. Indira Gandhi has always made India proud with its ground breaking achievements,” the party tweeted from its official handle shortly after Modi’s announcement.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel credited the United Progressive Alliance 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,” Patel tweeted.
His colleague, party spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi, also praised the country’s scientists while taking a dig at detractors of Nehru and eminent scientist Dr Homi Bhabha.
“I congratulate our space scientists in ensuring that we continue to reach new heights in space missions! Burn moment for bhakts who keep cursing Pt. Nehru,it was his&Dr.Homi Bhabha’s far sightedness that has got us where we are today,in shorter span of time than any other nation,” she said in a tweet.
She also acknowledged the role of scientist Vikram Sarabhai in India’s achievements in the field of space. “India has successfully tested the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile. Congratulations to everyone on the success of #MissionShakti,” the prime minister said.
He described it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space super powers. He said the action was not directed against any country and the satellite was a pre-determined target orbiting at an altitude of 300 km.