A day after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar questioned India’s No First Use policy on nuclear weapons, the Congress and the Left parties slammed him on Thursday. While the Congress called him “irresponsible”, the CPM said he should resign from the government if he wants to speak in his personal capacity.
“You have a motor mouth Defence Minister who is irresponsible in every manner,” Congress leader Anand Sharma said.
CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “If the Defence minister wants to speak in his personal capacity, he should resign from the government.”
Yechury asked whether the Prime Minister agrees with Parrikar or has no control over him. He added that the NDA government needs a disaster management minister for its cabinet.
The CPM Politburo said in a statement that the Defence Minister’s statement has “serious implications both for India’s security concerns and for India’s standing in international relations.”
“This statement represents a complete reversal of the long standing position of India as a country that champions a nuclear weapon free world and consistently stood by its commitment for peaceful use of nuclear energy. The Defence Minister’s statement clearly indicates that this government is negating India’s established stand on use of nuclear weapons in war. It jeopardises India’s security concerns by undermining the declared good neighbourly relations approach. Further it undermines India’s efforts for membership of international bodies like the UN Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” it said, adding that Parrikar’s contention that these are his personal opinions is untenable.