Former ISRO chief blames UPA for delay in Chandrayan-2, Congress fumes
New Delhi, June 13: Former ISRO chairman and the architect of Chandrayaan-1 mission G Madhavan Nair on Thursday squarely blamed the Congress-led-UPA government for delay in the Chandrayaan-2 launch, which is set to take place on July 15. He said going ahead with Mars mission, ahead of Chandrayaan-2 was a "political decision" of the then UPA government.
"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 scratch. Only after this (Modi) regime came (in 2014), they reinstated the old programme (Chandrayaan-2)," Nair told PTI.
He said the UPA government wanted to show a "some major event" before 2014 Lok Sabha elections, because of which the then government went ahead with Mars mission (Mangalyaan), instead of Chandrayaan-2. "With that objective, they (UPA government) went ahead (with the Mangalyaan mission)," he had said.
Asked about Nair's remarks, Singhvi said he condemns the remarks. "You have no business to criticise government. You are a scientist; you are supposed to be pride of place in our Constitution.
"Just because you find that a particular political party is out of power or in power, tomorrow will some other scientist start singing the tune of the Congress when we come back to power that all things were delayed by the BJP," Singhvi said.
Nair, the architect of Chandrayaan-1, India's first unmanned mission to the moon launched on October 22, 2008, served as the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the secretary in the Department of Space from 2003 to 2009. He had said in August, 2009 Chandrayaan-2 was slated for launch towards the end of 2012. In October last year, he joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In March, former DRDO chief VK Saraswat had said that India could have developed an anti-satellite missile in 2014-2015, had the UPA government given clearance in 2012.
Even Madhavan Nair had then said that India had the anti-satellite missile capability more than a decade ago but there was no political will at the time to demonstrate it.