Narendra Modi to take control of nuclear codes

  • Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 21, 2014 11:03 IST

Although Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi is scheduled to be covered by the Special Protection Group (SPG) three hours before his swearing in at 6 pm next Monday, he will be handed over top secret nuclear codes, keys and command and briefed about India’s strategic perception by outgoing National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon after he takes over as PM.

Sources told HT that Modi will be briefed about India’s strategic weapon capabilities, their location and the strength of nuclear arsenal after taking over as PM by Menon and top members of nuclear establishment and strategic force command.

Menon will also hand over codes and keys required to activate the strategic weapons in case of a nuclear attack.

India has the capability to launch a massive second strike through land, sea and air as New Delhi professes no first-use policy since it went nuclear during the Atal Behari Vajpayee regime in 1998.

Besides, the chiefs of the armed forces will brief Modi about India’s military preparedness, its capabilities and the current threat assessment.

It is understood that Army chief general Bikram Singh, who had scheduled an official tour to Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on May 26-28, was asked to stay in the city for this briefing. This meeting will also be attended by Naval chief Robin Dhowan and Air chief Arup Raha.

While the nuclear and military preparedness briefings are on top priority, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in consultation with the ministry of external affairs has already prepared a brief for Modi on situation in the neighbourhood, forthcoming visits, new initiatives and forthcoming summits.

Modi has been invited for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games by British PM that start of July 23 and is scheduled to attend the BRICS summit in Brazil in June.

Security seems to be Modi’s top priority with him asking to be briefed about the killing of an army jawan in cross-LoC firing in Akhnoor on Sunday.

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