Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday slammed the previous UPA government of not giving scientists approval to develop the country's own anti-satellite missile, saying it lacked "capability and clarity".
Terming Opposition's criticism as "clerical objections", FM Jaitley said, "Opposition needs lessons in country's security."
Speaking at a media briefing at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, FM Jaitley said when India had test-fired the Agni-V missile in April, 2012, then DRDO chief V K Saraswat had said that India could now build an anti-satellite missile but the government had not given its approval.
His comments came after the Congress party claimed that the anti-satellite system mission was started by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) under the leadership of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"If they want to rectify the Balakot (air strike) mistake, it is the opportunity for the opposition to do so and stand in support of our scientists," he reportedly said, referring to the air strikes on terrorist training camps in Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi criticised PM Modi for taking credit of the achievement of space scientists. "Well done DRDO, extremely proud of your work. I would also like to wish the PM a very happy World Theatre Day," tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
"We congratulate @isro @DRDO_India & the Govt on the latest achievement for India. The Indian Space Programme established in 1962 by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru & the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Smt. Indira Gandhi has always made India proud through its achievements," the Congress party had tweeted.
Earlier today, the Prime Minister, in his address to the nation, said that India had successfully shot down a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite 300 kilometres from the planet. After successfully completing the operation, India has become an elite space power. Till now, only three countries of the world- America, Russia and China had achieved this feat.
(With inputs from PTI)
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar