VK Saraswat, the former chief of DRDO and now a NITI Ayog member, has stated that the statement of the ex-NSA Shivshankar Menon claiming that DRDO had never sought permission regarding the ASAT tests are ‘erroneous’. Saraswat has clarified yesterday that as he has stated before, the DRDO had made an informal presentation before the government and not a written request.
Leftist propaganda site The Wire had published a report quoting UPA-era NSA Shivshankar Menon as saying that the ex-DRDO chief is lying and DRDO had never sought any permission regarding the ASAT tests.
However, VK Saraswat, speaking to media, has stated that the DRDO had made an informal presentation to the government and as there was no response from the government and no necessary financial resources were provided, they did not go ahead with the programme.
Saraswat, speaking to ANI, stated that Menon’s comments were erroneous and a ‘flight of imagination’.
Saraswat has further clarified that at that time, the DRDO had stated that they were planning two experiments, one with an electronically stimulated satellite trajectory and launching an interceptor to hit it, so as to avoid space debris, and after its success, another test with the real satellite.
Saraswat had earlier stated that though he had informed the then UPA government about the need for such a programme, he had received only silence over the issue.
He further stated that it was during Manohar Parrikar’s tenure as defence minister that an official proposal was put forth by G Satheesh Reddy, the current DRDO chief. Reddy had also stated recently that NSA Ajit Doval had shared the proposal with PM Modi and the PM had given the go-ahead for the project in 2016.
After PM Modi announced to the world that India has successfully completed the ASAT missile test and is now one a space power among the elite group of nations that have this capability, Congress and its supportive ecosystem, however, have been going on an overdrive trying to establish that India had achieved the capability under the UPA government but it is the NDA government which is taking the credit.
Even the articles and news reports which were being used to claim this had mentioned that the program had not received the go-ahead from the then Manmohan Singh-led government. Even the article in the Wire that quotes Menon, mentions him saying that Saraswat had given an informal presentation regarding ASAT capabilities, making it evident that the programme had never got a green signal from the UPA government.
However, former defence minister AK Anthony had stated to media that he was not even aware of any such programme.