Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday took exception to remarks of Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy that ISRO’s moon mission had failed and said that the entire world lauds the space agency for its achievements.
Sitharaman made the remarks while replying to the debate on supplementary demands for grants in the Lok Sabha.
Roy, while participating in the debate, had said that he did not know if the Department of Space has to be pulled up.
“The way our Chandrayaan-2 failed, our rover failed to land on the moon. The Department of Space has been allocated an amount, including the expenses for Chandrayaan-3,” he said.
“The way the rover crashed on the moon has brought a bad name to the country. Those who were in-charge of Chandrayaan should be pulled up for their failure to land a rover on the moon which many countries in the world have done successfully,” he added.
His remarks drew interruptions with BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who was in the chair, also expressing her disapproval.
“I think, you should know the history of all the moon missions, which have been sent. Not only about India but abroad also,” she said when Roy noted that she appeared unhappy over his remarks.
However, the Trinamool Congress MP insisted it was a failure.
Lekhi said it was not a failure. “They have done very well. It was a hard landing at best,” she said.
Sitharaman in her reply hoped that the Trinamool Congress MP was familiar with experiments in frontier science and asked how he can describe one hard landing as a failure.
She said it was not right to raise questions on allocation of funds for the organization and she was sure that his intention was not to punish ISRO. Some other members from treasury benches also objected to his remarks.
Roy, in his remarks, also said that funds had been allocated for other charges for the upkeep of “shrines, temples…protection and upkeep of Ayodhya”.
“So, slowly Ayodhya is being sought to be brought into the agenda. Now temple trust will be formed and we shall see further drama in this area,” he said, evoking protests from BJP members.