Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar has shot off letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai opposing the proposed shifting of Indian Human Space Flight Program of ISRO from Bangalore to Gujarat.

He also raised questions on ISRO being privatised. Seeking public opinion, Shivakumar has asked people to air their views on social media platforms.

Initiated in 2007 by ISRO, the Indian Human Space Flight Program seeks to develop the technology needed to launch crewed orbital spacecraft into low earth orbit and is responsible for implementation of the “Gaganyaan” project, he said.

The agency has also planned its first flight on a home-grown GSLV rocket. If completed on schedule, India will become the fourth nation in the world to launch an independent space-flight after the US, Soviet Union and China. “The people of Karnataka are very proud of this project,” he explained.

“You are aware that the people of Karnataka are very emotional and get attached to national programs and feel proud when the state hosts such programs,” he noted.

Kannadigas are severely hurt and shocked to know that there are plans to shift this prestigious program to Gujarat. If it happens, they will feel the federal government is ignoring and giving scant respect to the feelings of the local people, he said.

The move will cause adverse effects on consolidation of the federal system in the nation, he maintained. He demanded that the proposal of shifting the program from Karnataka to Gujarat be dropped.

Meanwhile, allaying fears of privatisation of ISRO, Chief Minister Bommai said: “It is not a company, it’s an institution; there is no question of privatisation.” he stated.