Written byRamya Patelkhana
After PM Narendra Modi announced that India has become a space superpower with the success of Mission Shakti, former Director General of DRDO, VK Saraswat, blamed the erstwhile UPA government for delaying the space programme.
He said that India would have had the specialized anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile capability in 2014-15 itself had the UPA government given its approval for the programme.
VK Saraswat was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, "We made presentations to the then National Security Adviser (NSA) and National Security Council when such discussions were held." Shiv Shankar Menon was the NSA at the time.
"They were heard by all concerned, unfortunately, we didn't get a positive response (from UPA), so we didn't go ahead," the former DRDO chief added.
Blaming the erstwhile UPA government for delaying the A-SAT program, Saraswat said PM Modi approved the proposal in 2014.
"When the proposal was put up by Dr. Satheesh Reddy and NSA Ajit Doval to PM Modi, he had the courage and based on that he gave a go-ahead. If the clearances were given in 2012-13..., the launch would have happened in 2014-15," he said.
Apart from Saraswat, former chairman of ISRO, G Madhavan Nair, also said that India had the game-changing anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile capability more than 10 years ago. However, he added that there was no "political will" a decade ago to demonstrate the technology.
Madhavan Nair, echoing Saraswat, said PM Modi had "the political will and courage" to go ahead with the A-SAT mission, unlike the former UPA government.
"...Now, Modiji has taken the initiative and he had the political will and courage to say that we will do this. We have now demonstrated this to the whole world," he said.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also attacked the Congress over the UPA government's reluctance to approve the A-SAT mission. "Indian scientists had the capability to build an anti-satellite missile a decade ago, then, the government never gave permission," he said.
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