In what exposes how the Congress led UPA government had politicised India’s technological advancement, former ISRO chief G Madhvan Nair has claimed that the Chandrayaan-2 was delayed on account of politicisation of the Space Mission by the then UPA government. He has stated that “Chandrayaan-2” could have been carried out long ago but for the “political decision” to push the “Mangalyaan” venture with an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Madhvan Nair, who is known as the architect of the Chandrayaan-1, India’s first unmanned space mission to the Moon launched in October 2008. He had served as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Secretary in the Department of Space from 2003 to 2009. He has revealed that Chandrayaan-2 was slated to be launched at the end of the year 2012.
As per Nair, the UPA government wanted to show “some major event” before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He said, “With that objective, they (UPA government) went ahead (with the Mangalyaan mission). The Mangalyaan was launched in the month of November 2013 when the UPA government was still in power. However, the spacecraft reached the Mars in September 2014. The Modi government had come into power by that time. Nair said, “So, it did not serve the purpose (of the then UPA regime). More of a political thing (to take up the Mars mission, ahead of Chandrayaan-2) than technical.”
In what reveals how the Chandrayaan-2 mission had to suffer on account of politicisation of India’s Space programme by the UPA government, Nair has stated, “Almost half the work (for Chandrayaan-2) was done earlier, but all those things were diverted for the Mars mission. So, we (ISRO) had to start from the scratch. Only after this (Modi) regime came (in 2014), they reinstated the old programme (Chandrayaan-2).”
The current ISRO K Sivan has announced that Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon, will be launched on July 15. The historic launch will take place at 2:51 AM on board the GSLV MK-III vehicle from the Sriharikota Spaceport.
This is not for the first time that the former ISRO chairman has revealed how the UPA government had hampered India’s Space based missions. Earlier this year, when India demonstrated its Anti Satellite (ASAT) weapons capability by shooting down a live satellite, Nair had revealed that India had the technological prowess to join the elite group of countries possessing the ASAT technology in the year 2007 itself but no political will. His version was later corroborated by the former DRDO chief, V K Saraswat.
It is amply clear that while the Congress government alleges the Modi government of taking false credit for national achievements ever since it came to power, the UPA government did not enjoy a very good track record when it came to politicisation of India’s Space Programme. The allegation of the Congress led UPA government delaying the Chandrayaan-2 mission is rather serious especially when it comes from the man who was at the apex of the Space Department at that time. It seems that Congress has got a lot of explaining to do in such a scenario.