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Absolutely fine, says Rajnath Singh on PM Modi’s Mission Shakti speech

Home Minister Singh said it was PM Modi who gave a green signal to this very important research and had all the right to convey it to the nation.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 20:46 IST
Shashi Shekhar
Shashi Shekhar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lok Sabha elections 2019,Rajnath Singh,PM Modi
Asked how he would justify PM Modi’s unprecedented announcement after the model code of conduct had kicked-in, Rajnath Singh said the event itself was unprecedented(PTI)

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today justified Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s televised address to the nation to announce India’s entry into the elite club of nations that have the ability to shoot satellites in low orbits. The announcement was “absolutely fine”, Rajnath Singh said in an exclusive interview with Hindustan, a sister publication of HT.

“This is a great achievement and only prime minister should have conveyed the good news to countrymen”, the home minister said.

Home Minister Singh said it was PM Modi who gave a green signal to this very important research and had all the right to convey it to the nation.

Watch: ‘India now a space power’: PM lauds successful anti-satellite missile test

“It is matter of pride that India has joined this club which had only three members till yesterday morning,” Rajnath Singh said.

Asked how he would justify PM Modi’s unprecedented announcement after the model code of conduct had kicked-in, Rajnath Singh said “the event itself was unprecedented”.

Also Read | ‘Tilting against windmills’: Pakistan responds to India’s Mission Shakti

He said the prime minister is aware of the sensitivities and the security interests of the nation involved. When DRDO sought the government’s approval to work on the project, he had taken no time and immediately approved it.

“This is not a development that has taken place in days or weeks, our scientists have being working on it day and night. Nobody should link defence and security-related issues to elections,” he said.

“If you noticed, the former DRDO chief has disclosed that the Congress government had denied permission to the same proposal to test A-SAT (anti satellite missile) in 2012, but it was Modi who okayed it without a second thought”, Rajnath Singh said.

The BJP claims that it will get more seats in 2019 as compared to the 2014 parliamentary elections. Asked if the NDA partners too would make similar commitments, Rajnath Singh said: “We are all committed to united NDA. It’s a commitment, and there were no compulsions. We know that BJP will get a majority on its own but next government will be constituted by NDA, not BJP alone.”

Rajnath Singh, to a question on the NDA’s leadership, made it clear “there was no chance” of any other leader leading the NDA government.

“Narendra Modi ji is our undisputed leader” and “all party members including allies have great faith in him,” he said. “For sure, no one else but he would be NDA’s prime minister and your question is based on speculation,” he stressed. The home minister was replying to a question on the possibilities in case the BJP does not get a majority on its own and allies exert pressure for an alternate candidate for the prime minister’s role.

On the home ministry that has overseen the internal security situation under his watch, Rajnath Singh said he was satisfied with the ongoing task of ending Maoist violence and insurgency in the Northeast. He claimed that peace was returning to Jammu and Kashmir and his government should be able to eliminate terror from the state in next tenure.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 19:43 IST