Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday alleged that the earlier Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government did not have the “political will” to test fire the anti-satellite missile although India had the capability to build it. “Delaying decisions of national interests amounts to criminal negligence,” Modi said at the launch of a private TV channel.

Without naming former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram who said the government should have kept Mission Shakti a secret, Modi said: “By that yardstick, why was the Pokhran [nuclear test] not kept a secret [during Congress rule in 1974]? I can understand the visits to courts [in alleged cases of corruption] can be kept a secret.” On March 27, Modi had announced that India had shot down a live satellite in space and had become the fourth country to do so.

The prime minister accused Congress leaders of being corrupt and keeping personal interests over national ones. Modi alleged that those who earlier headed the government stalled development because of their “corrupt behaviour”.“Were they not responsible to make things (system) fool-proof to check corruption... but the intent was not honest,” said Modi.

He added that the previous government delayed taking a decision on forming a special investigation team to probe black money. “We decided to set up the SIT in our very first Cabinet meet,” he said. He alleged that the previous government entered into weak agreements with foreign governments to bring back black money. “Now we have reworked agreement with Mauritius... Switzerland will now provide information [on black money of Indians] on realtime basis from this year,” he said.

He said the UPA government’s tenure was scarred with scams like 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games and AgusthaWestland helicopter. Without naming the Rafale jet deal, Modi said the Supreme Court found nothing wrong in his government’s defence preparedness. In December, the Supreme Court had dismissed a clutch of petitions seeking an inquiry into the government’s procurement of Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation.