- Opposition praises scientists but mocks PM Modi after space missile test
- "Limitless drama" by a "government past its expiry date": Mamata Banerjee
- Announcement 2 weeks before polls is to gain political points: Opposition
The opposition today launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi following his announcement about the testing of an anti-satellite missile or A-SAT. Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee led the attack in a series of tweets, saying it was "yet another limitless drama" by a "government past its expiry date". Rahul Gandhi congratulated the defence research organisation DRDO and wished PM Modi "a very happy World Theatre Day".
Announcing the successful testing of what has been named "Mission Shakti", PM Modi, in a special address to the nation this morning, said India is the fourth country to test an anti-satellite weapon after the US, Russia and China.
The opposition contends that the Prime Minister's special announcement two weeks before the national elections is a blatant attempt to take credit for years of work by scientists and gain political points.
Mamata Banerjee said she would file a complaint with the Election Commission about the violation of the Model Code of Conduct, which lays down the dos and don'ts for a caretaker government and political parties ahead of the elections.
Congratulating the scientists, the Bengal Chief Minister, in a tweet, said: "Research, space management & development are a continuous process over the years. Modi, as usual, likes to take the credit for everything. Credit to those who really deserve it, our scientists & researchers."
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
From Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was first off the block with his tweet:
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.
His alliance partner Mayawati also accused PM Modi of politicising the matter.
The Election Commission has, however, said the government does not need any permission to announce matters related to national security even when the Model Code of Conduct is in place.
An anti-satellite weapon system or ASAT can severely cripple enemy communications and reconnaissance systems during war, and blind the entire military of an enemy force.