Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s comments on India’s no-first-use nuclear policy has “serious implications” for India’s security concerns, Opposition parties said. Parrikar had said he believes India should not bind itself to the policy of not being the first to use nuclear weapons, after which Congress leader Digvijay Singh said the Centre must clarify “whether they have changed the stated policy” of the government, PTI reported.

”We are a land which believes in [Mahatma] 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, adding that the Congress “strongly condemned” the statement. Another Congress leader, Anand Sharma, said the defence minister had a “ motor mouth” and was “irresponsible in every manner”.

Moreover, Communist Party of India(Marxist) Secretary General Sitaram Yechury urged Parrikar to resign from the position if he wished to continue to “ speak in his personal capacity”. After he had made the remarks, the Defence Minstry had emphasised that his comments on the matter were not the “official position”.

“..It undermines India’s efforts for membership to international bodies like the UN Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” the CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement, adding that his remarks have “serious implications both for India’s security concerns and for India’s standing in international relations”.