New Delhi: A BJP-led government will maintain the ‘no-first-use’ nuclear policy, party chief Rajnath Singh has said, seeking to clear misgivings created by its manifesto.
“We will stick to it,” Singh told PTI in an interview when asked about the nuclear policy of ‘no-first-use’ that has been in place for over a decade.
The question was in the context of the party manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls which has said that “BJP will study in detail India’s nuclear doctrine, and revise it and update it, to make it relevant to the challenges of current times. We will maintain a credible minimum deterrent that is in tune with changing geostatic realities.”
On the reference in the manifesto that a BJP-led government would “revise and update” the doctrine, Singh said there should be no misgivings on this aspect.
“All governments keep reviewing nuclear policy to tune it with the interest of common masses,” he argued.
BJP has said in the manifesto, “We will follow an two- pronged independent nuclear programme, unencumbered by foreign pressure and influence, for civilian and military purposes, especially as nuclear power is a major contributor to India’s energy sector.”
Credible minimum deterrence is the principle of India’s ‘no-first use’ nuclear weapons policy, in force since the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, and under it, an arsenal which can help in retaliating strongly if attacked by an adversary, will be maintained.
Releasing the manifesto along with other senior leaders here on April 7, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had vowed to pursue “zero tolerance” approach on internal as well as external security so that “no one dares threaten” India.