New Delhi: The Congress claimed that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government reduced the missile range by 500 kilometres after India successfully test-fired the surface-to-surface strategic missile Agni-5 on Wednesday. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Sevadal said in a tweet that Agni-5 was successfully test-fired for the first time on April 19, 2012, with a strike range of 5,500 kilometres. It claimed that the Modi government had cut its range by 500 kilometres.

Around 7:50 p.m., the nuclear-capable missile was test-fired from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha. While the grand old party continued to accuse the BJP of reducing the range, BJP leaders praised the successful launch. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, praised Narendra Modi, saying that India is becoming stronger and more confident under his leadership.

“Our armament is to maintain peace in the region while securing Indian interests and safeguarding our borders. Congrats to our scientists and engineers at DRDO India for developing a more sophisticated AGNI5. The nation under PM @narendramodi Ji is emerging stronger and more confident,” he said in a tweet.

The Agni 5 programme aims to strengthen India's nuclear deterrent against China. The successful test of Agni-5, the defence ministry said in a statement, is in line with India's stated policy of credible minimum deterrence, which underpins the commitment to 'No First Use.'