GLOBAL ONE NEWS (G1) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has claimed India is now a “space power,” in a surprise public speech.

He announced on March 27 India successfully launched an anti-satellite missile test making it the fourth country to have such kind of capability following the U.S., Russia and China.

Modi said the test involved a live satellite 300 km (185 mi) “in low earth-orbit” to ensure any resulting debris would fall back and “decay” on earth “within weeks.”

Modi’s announcement, however, drew flak from many observers, with some describing it as a “reckless” move toward arms race in outer space.

It also came at an interesting time as states meet in Geneva discussing possible measures to restrain the deployment of weapons to space.

Some also accused Modi of trying to take credit for the work of the space agency and a blatant attempt to woo voters in the upcoming elections.