New Delhi: The Congress’ attempt on Monday to claim credit for the successful launch of India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 by highlighting the role of its two prime ministers, including Jawaharlal Nehru, triggered a row with the BJP accusing the opposition party of politicising the event through its “demeaning” remarks.
The Congress was trolled on Twitter for their comments highlighting country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s role in providing funds for space research.
Twitterati poked fun at the Congress and accused it of jumping to take credit for “almost everything”. They also slammed the Congress and posted memes of Nehru.
In its tweet, the Congress also mentioned former prime minister Manmohan Singh for sanctioning the Chandrayaan-2 project in 2008, evoking a sharp reaction from the ruling party spokesperson Sambit Patra, who said that there was a tendency to fall back on the past when there is “no future leadership” in view.
Congratulating the ISRO for the successful launch, the Congress tweeted, “This is a good time to remember the visionary move of India’s first PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to fund space research through INCOSPAR in 1962 which later became ISRO. And also Dr Manmohan Singh for sanctioning the Chandrayan-2 project in 2008.”
However, the BJP hit back accusing the Congress of drawing the issue into political arena.
“This is really demeaning.. It’s a proud moment for every Indian. Shouldn’t have been drawn into the political arena,” Patra said in a tweet.
“By the way when there is no future leadership in view there’s a tendency to fall back on the past to stay relevant…sadly this is what has happened to the Congress,” he added.
Earlier hailing the launch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, “special moments that will be etched in the annals of our glorious history. The launch of Chandrayaan-2 illustrates the prowess of our scientists and the determination of 130 crore Indians to scale new frontiers of science. Every Indian is immensely proud today.”
“Indian at heart, Indian in spirit! What would make every Indian overjoyed is the fact that Chandrayaan-2 is a fully indigenous mission. It will have an Orbiter for remote sensing the Moon and also a Lander-Rover module for analysis of lunar surface,” Modi said in a series of tweets.
Congratulating the ISRO, BJP President and Home Minister Amit Shah said they have set another benchmark in the field of space technology and that a grateful nation is proud of the ISRO scientists.
“I also thank PM Modi ji for encouraging our institutions for setting new standards every time,” Shah said in a tweet.
Echoing his party’s line, Congress spokesperson Rajeev Gowda said, “From building Aryabhatta in makeshift asbestos sheds in Peenya, Bangalore in 1970s to success of Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Chandrayaan-2 today, our space program’s incredible success is our national pride. Kudos to ISRO, our scientists, engineers and visionary leaders from PM Nehru onward.”
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had also on Sunday said,”India’s space journey began with Pt Nehru, and took a giant leap in 1975 with the launch of Aryabhat, led by charismatic PM Indira Gandhi. ISRO has many notable achievements including Chandrayaan (2008) and Mangalayaan (2013). Wishing Team ISRO all the best for Chandrayaan-2.”
After the Congress tweet, which evoked a tsunami of reactions, #NehruOnTheMoon became one of the top trending hashtags used by netizens. Even verified handles were unsparing in mocking the Congress’s Nehru fixation.
“This is a good time to remember the condition of ISRO vs condition of Gandhi family…” read a tweet.
Some of the memes, included a picture of parts of a rocket being carried on a bicycle and a bullock cart carrying parts of ‘Aryabhatt’ satellite in another.
This is a good time to remember the condition of ISRO vs Condition of Gandhi family pic.twitter.com/naNveUOkSs
— Shash (@pokershash) July 22, 2019
“While ISRO scientists used to carry satellite on Bullock cart, Indira had her grandchildren to have grand birthday party on airplane,” said another tweet.
While ISRO scientists used to carry satellite on Bullock cart, Indira had her grandchildren to have grand birthday party on Airplane. pic.twitter.com/bEkHWWoU9G
— Lol wav wav wanaa wav wav Lol (@LOLiyapa) July 22, 2019
“Nehru was the first person to land on Moon,” mocked another tweet.
— Manu (@manusome9) July 22, 2019
“Seriously?? Who’s operating @INCIndia Twitter account? No fact checking before crediting one’s hardwork and sincerity to someone else,” said a tweet.
— Kalpanavinash (@bhuvikal) July 22, 2019
“You guys don’t waste any time, do you…,” said another tweet dubbing it a “shameless” act.
I was waiting for shameless @INCIndia to grab the credit.
You guys don't waste any time, do you…
— जान्हवी गौतम (@JahnviGautam) July 22, 2019
“Whenever there is something Indian… Get a life! Just give the credit to ISRO for Chandrayaan-2 …….that’s all there is..,” said yet another tweet.
— 🇮🇳 Bhadka Hua Indian 🇮🇳 (@parijatvk) July 22, 2019
The geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle lifted-off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 2.43 pm and successfully placed the 3,850-kg Chandrayaan-2 into the earth orbit about 16 minutes later.
The Rs 978 crore mission, that will mark a giant leap in India’s space research and make it only the fourth country to have landed a rover on Moon, was rescheduled to Monday after scientists corrected the technical glitch in the three-stage rocket.