DRDO ex-chief blames UPA for A-SAT programme delay

India

27 Mar 2019

UPA government didn't clear A-SAT missile-test: DRDO ex-chief on #MissionShakti

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.

Here's more.

UPA govt

Unfortunately, we didn't get a positive response from UPA: Saraswat

Unfortunately, we didn't get a positive response from UPA: Saraswat

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.

Approval

'PM Modi had the courage,' says Saraswat

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.

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India had A-SAT missile capability a decade ago: ISRO ex-chief

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.

Nair's comments

PM Modi had the political will to go forward: Nair

PM Modi had the political will to go forward: Nair

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.

Indian scientists had capability; UPA government didn't give permission: Jaitley

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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