New Delhi: Raising the pitch for national security ahead of the fourth phase of elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said he had asked scientists to devise technology to shoot satellites in space, even as the former Congress-led government was afraid to do so.
Addressing a rally in Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the fourth phase of elections on 29 April, Modi took a dig at the former Congress-led government and said the Congress was scared of other countries, but for him, ‘the country came first’.
“Today, every technology, be it phone, weather forecast, radio is linked to satellites. If any enemy country attacks our satellites, then what would happen? This danger existed earlier also, but former governments were afraid to act. So, I asked scientists to devise a technology for neutralising threats. Now we are among the four countries in the world to do that," Modi said during in his election rally in Sitapur on the last day of campaigning.
The Opposition parties had earlier accused Modi for politicising the Anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile test carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists and taking credit for it. The test named ‘Mission Shakti’ was carried out two weeks before the first of general elections.
However, the Election Commission (EC) had said the government does not need permission to make announcements related to national security even when the Model Code of Conduct was in place.
Modi also took a dig at the Opposition for lack of unity in forming alliances, and said the alliances were being formed by leaders, who do not want to be seen together. “Have you ever seen Sharad Pawar and Rahul Gandhi together in Maharashtra?" he said.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi too, hit the campaign trail in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and cornered the NDA government over its failure to provide employment opportunities and its policies of demonetisation and GST.
Terming GST as the Gabbar Singh Tax, Gandhi said, “Not a single youth in the country can say that they have got employment because unemployment rate in the country is highest in 45 years. In 70 years nobody did something as foolish as demonetisation and Gabbar Singh Tax."
Alleging that the Prime Minister had lied to the country, Gandhi said: "Narendra Modi has lied to the nation for the last five years. In his speech, he doesn't speak about employment, farmers or 15 lakh. He speaks by looking at the teleprompter."
The fourth phase of general elections is scheduled for 29 April, when voting would take place in 71 constituencies in Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.