In the pursuit of his personal politics Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee continues to distort the Constitution. Earlier he distorted the Constitution to commit contempt of parliament by stating in the House that he would inform MPS about the IAEA draft agreement only when some decision was taken. Meanwhile he said he could parley with Left parties on the subject because they were part of 'an internal arrangement of the UPA government'.
In his latest assault on the Constitution Mukherjee told a TV interviewer that an international agreement could be overturned by a successor government if signed by a minority government bereft of majority parliamentary support for the agreement. This is arrant nonsense.
A successor government has no more moral or legal authority to do this for a minority government as it has for a majority government. Any international deal signed by the government ' majority or minority ' has equal legal and moral validity both internationally and domestically.
Either the Foreign Minister is being devious or he is betraying pathetic ignorance about the way our Constitution and parliamentary system work. Parliament has every opportunity to vote a government out if the majority of MPs feel that the government is jeopardizing national interest by signing an international agreement.
This of course Pranab Mukherjee's political godfathers ' the Left parties which helped him win for the first time a Lok Sabha election -- have consistently chickened out from doing. To cover the bluster and impotence of his Left benefactors the honourable Foreign Minister is trotting out his untenable arguments.
It would better for the honorable minister to maintain a discreet silence rather than to advance arguments that make him appear ignorant and expose him to ridicule.