Dehradun:  The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday slammed the Union Defence Ministry for the blacklisting of ISRO and accused the government of having lost its "grace to govern".

"The unsavoury controversy involving senior scientists from ISRO is seriously damaging the reputation of one of India's best and highly respected institutions, of which the country has always been proud," BJP's national spokesperson Tarun Vijay said.

"The ISRO controversy, blacklisting of top scientists who had given their best in terms of scientific achievement and then again sending signals to rethink on the decision, gives a clear signal that this government has lost all sense of balance and grace to govern the country," Vijay said.

Vijay also slammed the government and the Defence Ministry for its stand on the age row surrounding Army chief Gen. V.K. Singh. "The government has failed to uphold the constitutional principles of law, justice and fairness and is systematically ruining the institutions that have held the basic foundations of the constitution high," Vijay said.

ISRO chief G. Madhavan Nair and three other top scientists were blacklisted by the government for their alleged role in the USD 300 million (Rs.60 crore) spectrum deals between Antrix and the Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia Ltd in violation of rules, including competitive bidding through a global tender. 

Antrix is the commercial arm of ISRO. Besides Nair, the other scientists indicted include former scientific secretary A. Bhaskarnarayana, ISRO's former satellite centre director K.N. Shankara and former Antrix Corporation executive director K.R. Sridharamurthi.