In a shocking statement, former Karnataka Chief Minister and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy mocked the efforts of ISRO scientists over Chandrayaan 2 to settle political scores with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Addressing media in Mysuru, Kumaraswamy targeted PM Modi, alleging that Prime Minister's presence could have been "inauspicious" for ISRO scientists on Chandrayaan 2 glitch. He called PM Modi's presence at the ISRO monitoring centre "inauspicious", implying it to be the reason for the loss of communication with the Vikram lander. He politicised the hard work of the Indian Space agency, adding that PM Modi tried to get "publicity" over the Chandrayaan 2 mission.
"Modi came recently. He wanted to give a message to the people of the country that he is landing Chandrayaan. Poor scientists have been working hard for 10-15 years. The approval for Chandrayaan was given in 2018-09. Funds were released, cabinet approval was given in 2008-09. But he has been acting like Chandrayaan took off after he came to power, trying to get publicity," Kumaraswamy said.
Kumaraswamy also used the opportunity to belittle the BJP leaders including the Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa and deputy chief ministers.
"The time at which he stepped foot here, probably even for ISRO scientists, it turned out to be inauspicious, I don't know. The question here is, the information I got is this: the CM went there along with 2-3 union ministers and even one Dy CM. they were all told through hand signals that your job here is done, leave from here. None of you need to be here. They all tucked their tails between their legs and went back. This is the situation of the government which represents our state," the former Karnataka CM added.
Many within his own party, embarrassed by the politicization of the space agency, refused to comment or defend the statement while the former Ally of JDS, the Congress party too declined to comment saying the statement is the personal opinion of Kumaraswamy and they don't endorse it. Kumaraswamy's statement is being seen by many as an embarrassment to himself rather than either to the PM or ISRO.
The country was witness to the crestfallen faces of the scientists at ISRO when they were unable to establish communication with the lander VIKRAM just moments before landing and the entire nation had stood in support of ISRO and Chandrayaan 2 on September 7. As per ANI, ISRO is trying to establish communication with the lander. The ISRO chief also stated that Vikram's landing must have been a hard landing.