Will revise nuclear doctrine, mend equations: BJP poll manifesto

New Delhi, April 7: The BJP Monday pledged to “revise and update” India’s nuclear doctrine, observing that the strategic gains acquired by the party-led NDA regime were “frittered away” by the Congress, and unveiled a foreign policy that would stress on “mending equations” and ties with neighbours.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which opinion polls project as very likely to form the next government in India, in its foreign policy section of the manifesto said: “India shall remain a natural home for persecuted Hindus and they shall be welcome to seek refuge”

The manifesto did not take the name of any nation, unlike the Congress manifesto unveiled earlier which had specificallyl mentioned ties with neighbours, especially Pakistan, China and Sri Lanka. However, in its basic essence, the manifesto did not take a markedly different line. The BJP manifesto said a BJP-led government “will pursue friendly relations” with neighbours but, “where required we willl not hesitate from taking strong stand and steps.”

It said the party, if it comes to power, will “study in detail India’s nuclear doctrine, and revise and update it, to make it relevant to challenges of current times.”

“Maintain a credible minimum deterrent that is in tune with changing geostatic realities and invest in “India’s indigenous Thorium Technology Programme”.

Accusing the Congress-led UPA of having “failed to establish enduring friendly and cooperative” ties with neighbours, the BJP said it will “build a strong, self-reliant and self-confident India, regaining its rightful place in the comity of nations”.

It said it will mend “equations through pragmatism and a doctrine of mutually beneficial and interlocking relationships, based on enlightened national interest”.

In an reference to the UPA government’s perceived leaning towards the US, it said it would not be led by “big power interests” and would instead “engage proactively on our own with countries in the neighbourhood and beyond”.