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ASAT process started in 2014 after PM Modi's permission: Arun Jaitley

File photo of Union Minister Arun Jaitley. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 27, 2019, 03.43 PM (IST)

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday criticised the previous governments for not giving permission to build the anti-satellite missile in a press conference.

"The process started in 2014 after the PM gave the permission, it's a huge achievement, not only we have become space power but we are now in big four. We should not forget that tomorrow's wars will not be the same as yesterday's wars," said Jaitley.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, he 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 develop an anti-satellite missile but the government had not given its nod.

"Scientists had the capability to build anti-satellite missile a decade ago, then govt never gave permission," FM Arun Jaitley said.

Targeting the Congress, he said those patting their own back for India's strategic missile programme were doing so for wrong reasons.

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"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 said, referring to the air strike on a terrorist camp in Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space superpowers.

India also said that its anti-satellite (A-SAT) weapon that successfully destroyed a decommissioned Indian satellite on a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), is not directed against any country and its space capabilities do not threaten anyone.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

FM Jaitley said: "The process started in 2014 after the PM gave the permission, it's a huge achievement, not only we have become space power but we are now in big four."