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‘Clerical objections’: Arun Jaitley hits back at Opposition over missile launch

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New Delhi, Mar 27: Amid claims by the Opposition that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of the successful testing of an anti-satellite missile was nothing but "publicity mongering" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said it was a matter of national security and not an election stunt.

Arun 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 the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Saraswat had said that India could now develop an anti-satellite missile but the government had not given its nod.

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

What is Anti-satellite (ASAT) Missile?

"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 March 27 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 super powers.

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