The Congress on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of hogging the limelight when the success of Chandrayaan-3 was about the achievements of the scientists behind the mission.
Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said the excitement and pride of the Chandrayaan-3 landing will "stay with us for a long time". "ISRO Chairman Dr. Somanath's leadership truly created history and we extend our hearty congratulations to him and his team," Venugopal said on X, formerly Twitter. "However, the PM must answer some for his hypocrisy," he added.
Hitting out at Modi, Venugopal said, "You were quick to come on screen and take credit after the landing, but why has your government failed so terribly in supporting the scientists and the ISRO."
The Congress leader also asked as to why the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) engineers, who worked on Chandrayaan-3, have not received their salaries for the last 17 months.
"Why did you cut the budget for such crucial missions by 32 per cent? These are the heroes of our country, they run a world-class space research program, but you have no regard for their talent and hard work. To add insult to injury, you hogged the limelight when that moment was about the scientists’ achievements," he wrote on X.
Venugopal's outburst against the prime minister came a day after India's moon mission Chandrayaan-3 touched down on the lunar south pole, propelling the country to an exclusive club of four and making it the first nation to land on the uncharted surface.
With this touchdown on moon after a flawless 41-day voyage to script history and less than a week after a Russian lander headed to the lunar south pole crashed, India became the fourth country to master the technology of soft-landing on the moon after the United States, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union.