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Sep 19, 2019-Thursday



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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

‘Spoke about A-SAT, they thought theatre set’: PM Modi targets Rahul Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, where he hit back at the Opposition for questioning announcement of Mission Shakti in a televised address.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 18:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced the success of Mission Shakti, India’s anti-satellite missile capability.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced the success of Mission Shakti, India’s anti-satellite missile capability. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, in a televised address to the nation, announced India’s entry into the elite club of the nation having capability to hit a target in space. In a three minute operation, under Mission Shakti, PM Modi said, the Indian scientists hit a live satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) of space becoming only the fourth country to do so.

That his announcement was made in the peak election season saw Opposition leaders including Congress president Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attacking the prime minister.


“Well done DRDO, extremely proud of your work. I would also like to wish the PM a very happy World Theatre Day,” said Gandhi on Twitter taking a dig at PM Modi.

Also Read | Surgical strikes on land, sky and space, says PM Modi at Meerut rally

Banerjee, too, targeted PM Modi in her posts on Twitter. One of her tweets read, “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.”

On Thursday, PM Modi mocked their criticism at a public rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut. PM Modi said, “When I was speaking about A-SAT (anti-satellite missile) yesterday, some intelligent people got confused. They thought that I was speaking about sets used in theatres.”

“They got confused A-SAT with set used in theatres. Whether we should cry or laugh at their intellect for confusing space mission with theatre,” PM Modi said in his riposte to Gandhi and Banerjee without taking their names.

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Soon after PM Modi’s televised address, several political parties objected to the announcement saying it amounted to violation of poll code. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora drawing his attention to PM Modi’s announcement of Mission Shakti’s success.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati also criticised PM Modi alleging that the achievement of scientists was being used for political gain at the time of election.

PM Modi, in his response, said the Opposition is “nervous” because of the bold decisions his government has taken in recent weeks. He referred to the strike by the Indian Air Force at terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in the aftermath of Pulwama attack, in which 40 soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing owned by the Jaish-e-Mohammed.

“Nation has seen many governments that gave slogans but it has for the first time seen a government that takes prompt decisions,” he said.

This was PM Modi’s first public rally for the Bharatiya Janata Party since the dates for Lok Sabha polls were announced by the Election Commission earlier this month.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 14:38 IST