Congress demands clarification on Manohar Parrikar’s remark on Nuclear weapons

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Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday asked the central government to clear the air after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar questioned India’s no-first-use policy on nuclear weapons.

The Hindu

“We strongly condemn the statement of Manohar Parrikar on the issue of first use of nuclear arsenal which is contrary to the stated position of Government of India,” the Congress general secretary said, speaking to reporters in Panaji.

“We are a land which believes in Gandhi’s principles of non-violence and we have always believed in disarmament policy of nuclear weapons which was initiated by the late Rajiv Gandhi,” he said.

“The Prime Minister and the Government must come clean on this, whether they have changed the stated policy of Government of India as far as use of nuclear weapons is concerned,” Mr Singh said.

“(Manohar) Parrikar has been talking out of turn even in the case of so-called surgical strikes against Pakistan. He had made a statement that it was only possible because of ‘sanskars’ of RSS….It is now a fact that surgical strikes have been done earlier also during UPA regime but we did not politicise it,” said the senior Congress leader.

“We would like the Army to be kept out of politics. We have greatest regard for defence forces and they have been totally apolitical and have maintained high standard of professionalism,” he added.

Mr Parrikar on Thursday had wondered why India cannot say “we are a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly” instead of affirming “no first use policy”. He also said this was his personal view.

(With inputs from PTI)

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