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Added on : 2019-03-27 17:29:54

India is the fourth country to have tested such an anti-satellite weapon after the US, Russia and China, the PM said, addressing the nation on the success of what he called "Mission Shakti". PM Modi called it a test of India's capability to shoot down low orbit satellites and asserted that India's action was not directed against any country.

Here are the top 10 developments in this big story:

  • The A-SAT missile shot down the Low Earth Orbit satellite within "three minutes of launch", with remarkable precision and technical capability, PM Modi said.
  • "This is a big moment for India, something all of us should be proud of. We are not just capable to defend on land, water and air, but now also in space. I congratulate all scientists who have made this possible and made India a much stronger nation," PM Modi said in his address.
  • The Prime Minister said "Mission Shakti" was an important step towards securing India's safety, economic growth and technological advancement. This has not been used by any country so far.
  • The opposition parties have slammed the announcement in the middle of the campaign for next month's national election, when a code of conduct is in place.
  • Some parties have appealed to the Election Commission, but sources in the top poll body have said that "no permission of poll panel is needed for security related issues being announced."
  • A barrage of tweets by ministers and other top leaders of the ruling BJP, with the hashtag "NamumkinAbMumkinHai", rattled the opposition even more. They questioned the timing of the PM's announcement or indeed, whether it was necessary for him to make the announcement instead of the country's top space scientists.
  • Samajwadi party Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: "Today @narendramodi got himself an hour of free TV & divert nation's attention away from issues on ground - #Unemployment #RuralCrisis & #WomensSecurity - by pointing at the sky. Congratulations @drdo_india & @isro - this success belongs to you. Thank you for making India safer."
  • Earlier today, huge anticipation had built up after PM Modi tweeted that he would address the nation with an "important message" at around 11:45 AM - 12.00 noon. "Do watch the address on television, radio or social media," PM Modi had tweeted.
  • Speculation peaked as it emerged that the PM had met top ministers in the cabinet security panel at his residence in the morning. The tweet had also set off a guessing game on social media.
  • The last time PM Modi addressed the nation so suddenly was on November 8, 2016, when he announced demonetization or the overnight ban on Rs. 500 and 1,000 notes. He addressed the nation on December 31 that year as the 50-day deadline to deposit or exchange the scrapped notes came to an end.

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