Rahul lauds DRDO for success of ‘Mission Shakti’ but wishes PM Modi happy ‘World Theatre Day’

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for carrying out ‘Mission Shakti’ successfully, but wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi a happy ‘World Theatre Day.’

“Well done DRDO, extremely proud of your work. I would also like to wish the PM a very happy World Theatre Day,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted. March 27 is celebrated as the World Theatre Day.

Rahul’s tweet comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announcing that India’s anti-satellite weapon A-SAT successfully destroyed a live satellite on a low earth orbit, joining a group of three countries—US, Russia, and China—armed with such capability.

“Research, space management, and development are a continuous process over the years. Modi, as usual, likes to take the credit for everything. Credit to those who really deserve it, our scientists and researchers,” Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

Banerjee also accused Prime Minister Modi of grossly violating 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 the election. This is a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct,” she said.

Stating that TMC is lodging a complaint against Prime Minister Modi’s announcement with the Election Commission, Mamata wrote: “There is no great urgency in conducting and announcing the mission now by a government past its expiry date. It seems desperate oxygen to save the imminent sinking of the BJP boat. We are lodging a complaint with the Election Commission.”

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav too attacked Prime Minister Modi and said that he got himself an hour to divert nation’s attention from real issues. “Narendra Modi got himself an hour of free TV and divert nation’s attention away from issues on the ground—#Unemployment #RuralCrisis and #WomensSecurity—by pointing at the sky. Congratulations @drdo India and @isro — this success belongs to you. Thank you for making India safer,” Akhilesh tweeted.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said that it was the UPA government who had initiated the A-SAT programme. “The UPA government had initiated the A-SAT programme which has reached fruition today. I congratulate our space scientists and the visionary leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh,” he tweeted.

CPI leader D Raja also hit out at Prime Minister Modi, saying that he should not politicise the achievement of the scientist. “The scientists, technocrat and all persons involved in this mission deserved to be congratulated. The Prime Minister should not try to politicise it as part of his election campaign or propaganda. He should desist from politicising the achievement of our scientists. This achievement belongs to the whole country,” said he.

“Many congratulations to the Indian defence scientists to make the country proud by successfully testing the destruction of the satellite in space. But it is highly condemnable that PM Modi is reaping electoral gains under its guise. The Election Commission must take strict cognizance of it,” BSP chief Mayawati tweeted.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the scientists of ISRO and DRDO in developing and demonstrating A-SAT capabilities.

“Defence Mister of India congratulates the scientists of ISRO and DRDO in developing and demonstrating A-SAT capabilities. We are proud of you and wish you more glories in future,” Defence spokesperson tweeted.

Slamming the Opposition for criticising PM Modi, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said: “Elections come and go but does the country stop progressing? Now it is on you, how you see the success of the Mission Shakti. I didn’t hear Prime Minister PM Modi taking credit of the mission. He said it’s done by the scientists and we are proud of them.”

“I earlier also said that it is the support which we need to give to our soldiers, scientists, doctors, everyone so that they can do wonders in their respective fields,” he said.

“Congratulations to all the scientists for carrying out ‘Mission Shakti’ successfully. India is moving fast towards becoming a world leader, and under PM Modi’s leadership, it is on its way to not only becoming a super economic power but also a super science power,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari told media persons in Nagpur.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also praised and congratulated DRDO for ‘Mission Shakti.’ “India has become the world’s fourth space superpower after Russia, US and China,” he said.

Addressing to the nation, Prime Minister Modi said: “India has entered its name as an elite space power. It is the fourth country to achieve this feat after the US, Russia and China. The ‘Mission Shakti’ operation was a difficult target to achieve, which was completed successfully within three minutes of the launch.”