Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability, saying only a “foolish government” would make such a disclosure and “betray” a defence secret.

In an address to the nation, Modi had on Wednesday announced that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite under ‘Mission Shakti’, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space superpowers.

Slamming the announcement by the prime minister, Chidambaram tweeted, “The capability to shoot down a satellite has existed for many years. A wise government will keep the capability secret. Only a foolish government will disclose it and betray a defence secret.”

The former finance minister also questioned the motive of the government in making the announcement.

“Besides, why was it done now in the middle of an election campaign? Only to boost the sagging fortunes of the BJP,” Chidambaram claimed.

Following the prime minister’s speech, several Opposition parties had complained to the Election Commission alleging violation of the model code of conduct.

The Election Commission, however, said on Friday night that Modi’s address to the nation on the successful test-firing of an anti-satellite missile did not violate the model code of conduct.

Chidambaram also sought answers from the prime minister on high unemployment rate and job losses, citing data from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).

“Unemployment rate in India is at 7.1 per cent. It is the highest in 45 years. Why? Will Mr Modi answer? According to the NSSO, 4 crore 70 lakh jobs have been lost. Why? Will Mr Modi answer?” he said in a series of tweets.