Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said on Friday that he stood by his remarks about the presence of the internet during the Mahabharata era. The Narendra Modi government’s achievement of sending “104 satellites a year to space” proves the claims made in the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Upanishads about India’s developed science in ancient times, The Indian Express quoted Deb as saying.

“During those times, our country had the most developed science and it is reflected in the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Upanishads,” Deb told journalists in New Delhi on Friday. “It is the same country whose Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government sends 104 satellites a year to space… So there is evidence to what is said in these books.”

Deb said only people who wanted to “belittle Bharat’s culture, civilisation and traditions, to prove Europeans were ahead of us” were “irritated” by his remark. “I feel the internet could not have been possible if science did not materialise what was described in the Mahabharata.”

On Tuesday, Deb had said about the Mahabharata, “How could Dhritarashtra see through Sanjay’s [his charioteer] eyes? This means technology was there, internet was there, satellite was there.”

“Whether Mahabharata, Ramayana or Upanishad, these are the empirical texts of our culture,” he told The Hindu on Friday. “If a person sitting in a palace can narrate what is happening in a battlefield 50 km away, there must have been some technique.”

Deb also appeared to hit out against communism and Left leaders. He said 99% of the people in the country “believe what he believes”. He said this is why “Modi won as Prime Minister and communism was disappearing from the country”.

“Sitaram Yechury’s [Communist party of India (Marxist) leader] parents named him Sita Ram...They must have had some thoughts when they put both Sita and Ram in his name,” Deb said.

“Why was he not named after Stalin or Lenin. Even in his name, the thought of Bharat is there,” he said. “His family also had the same thought. It is a different matter that he chose a different way when he grew up.”

In an interview to The New Indian Express, Deb further claimed the previous Left government in his state “wanted to perpetuate its ideology through school education”. He said, “History books in Tripura began with photographs of Stalin. Children were taught about Lenin and Stalin.” He added that the BJP “will change all such things”.