New Delhi: “Indian scientists had the capability a decade ago, but the then government didn’t give its approval so we couldn’t accomplish Mission Shakti before,” said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as he briefed media about the mission on Wednesday. (Also read: ‘Happy World Theatre Day,’ Tweets Rahul Gandhi) Also Read - PM Modi Reviews Covid Situation, Emphasises on Door-to-door Testing in Rural India | Key Points

Bolstering his claim with an example, Jaitley cited a newspaper report of 2012 which quoted a senior scientist as saying after the successful launch of Agni V that India then had the capability to develop an anti-satellite missile. He said Congress leaders who were patting themselves on the back for this achievement must remember that. Also Read - Govt Working in War Footing Mode To Fight Second Wave of Covid-19, Says PM Modi

Notably, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel had claimed that the project had begun during the UPA rule under Dr Manmohan Singh. Also Read - Positive Covid Report Not Mandatory For Admission in Hospitals, Says Health Ministry

Jaitley said the process began in 2014 and PM Narendra Modi deserves credit for the same. He added that the biggest feature of the missile was that it was indigenous technology. At the same time, Jaitley clarified, that it would be used for the country’s defence, as a deterrent.

“India is a responsible acquirer of nuclear technology…these are for our defence and the world knows our commitment towards peace.” Some environmentalists may raise concern about environment debris but our scientists have taken all precautions and the environment would be debris-free in three weeks’ time.

Calling Opposition criticism “clerical objections,” Jaitley said the Opposition needed a lesson in national security. On Mamata Banerjee’s statement about approaching the Election Commission over the development, Jaitley reportedly said, “India’s nuclear programme can’t be halted because it doesn’t suit the West Bengal CM or any other political leader.”

He said, “Tomorrow’s wars won’t be the same as yesterday’s wars,” and it helps the country to be prepared at all times.

Earlier in the day, Defence Research and Development Organisation had conducted the mission off Odisha coast, turning India into a space superpower.