A war of words broke out between the BJP and the Opposition on Wednesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement via an address to the nation of the successful conclusion of Mission Shakti and India’s space deterrence.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet, congratulated the DRDO and ISRO on the success of Mission Shakti but, as an aside to Mr. Modi, wished him a “very Happy World Theatre Day.”
His party tweeted out congratulations to the DRDO and ISRO and made it a point to refer to the contribution of former Congress Prime Ministers to India’s space programme. “We congratulate @isro and the government on the latest achievement for India. The Indian Space Programme established in 1961 by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Smt Indira Gandhi has always made India proud with its ground breaking achievements,” said the party.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley responded to the Congress, saying that “the process started in 2014 after the Prime Minister gave the permission. It’s a huge achievement, not only we have become space power but we are now in big four.”
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, “today, @narendramodi got himself an hour of free TV and divert the nation’s attention away from issues on the ground - #Unemployment #RuralCrisis and #WomensSecurity – by pointing to the sky. Congratulations @drdo_india and @isro- this success belongs to you. Thank you for making India safer.”
Tejaswi Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal openly implied that Mr. Modi was “nervous” and that the announcement had proven it.
The Trinamool and the CPI(M) protested against Mr. Modi’s announcement on Mission Shakti calling it a violation of the Model Code of Conduct
“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.,” Ms. Banerjee tweeted.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury pointed out that such a mission should have normally been announced by “relevant scientific authorities like the DRDO.”
“I would like to know that if the EC was informed of such an address to the nation by the Prime Minister and did the EC consider and permit such an address to the nation by the Prime Minister?” Mr. Yechury questioned the EC in his letter.
Communist Party of India leader D. Raja said the national address showed that the Prime Minister and the BJP were jittery ahead of the general elections.
“The PM using the public broadcaster to take credit for a mission accomplished by our scientific community at the time of elections is unethical and violation of MCC and the EC will have to look at he issue. It shows his desperation,” Mr. Raja