The Left parties have issued the following statement:
Betrayal of Public Commitment
The Minister for External Affairs, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, announced on July 8, 2008 at a press conference that the government would send India’s safeguards agreement to the International Atomic Energy Agency Board for approval only if it won the trust vote in parliament. “I cannot bind the government if we lose our majority”, he said.
He also stated that he had consulted the Prime Minister who was in Japan, in this regard.
Coming hours after the announcement that the Left parties had decided to withdraw support to the government, this was a solemn commitment to the country that the government would not proceed to the Board of Governors of the IAEA till the government proved its majority in parliament.
It is shocking that less than twenty four hours of such a statement, the IAEA has announced that at the request of the Government of India, the text has been submitted to the Board for its consideration. (Annexure – press release of the IAEA).
This is a blatant violation of the assurance given by the government, a betrayal of a moral commitment to the country.
What transpired in the meeting of the Prime Minister with President Bush which led to this going back on a public pledge?
The Prime Minister owes an answer to the people and the country.
Text of the Safeguards Agreement
The Left parties had on July 8, 2008 asserted that it is the Government of India which is keeping the text confidential and not the IAEA. This has been confirmed by spokespersons of the IAEA in the last twenty four hours.
Subsequently, the text of the Draft India Safeguards Agreement is now available in the public domain. The Left parties will study the Draft of the Safeguards Agreement and come out with our analysis and stand.
Prakash Karat A.B. Bardhan Debabrata Biswas
General Secretary, CPI(M) General Secretary, CPI General Secretary, AIFB