Speaking on a range of issues he has dealt with in the course of a long public life, Mukherjee said managing regional interests had been a problem under UPA and remains so even now despite the fact that the BJP has a clear majority in Lok Sabha. “I feel coalition governments have a deficiency in that they are largely dominated by regional parties, and these parties are based in individual states — hardly there is a regional party, except communists who have presence in more than one state. Major coalition parties are single-state parties, therefore, it is difficult to resolve and reconcile regional interests with national interests.”
While Mukherjee was careful not to refer to specific instances, his comments seem to allude to issues that have hemmed in the diplomatic options of coalition governments with neighbouring countries due to the political vetoes that regional parties can exercise in long-pending rows. “In a coalition system, a PM does not enjoy the absolute authority… including (over) his colleagues as in case of a single-party majority government,” he said.
Asked if he saw a post Rashtrapati Bhavan role for himself in Congress affairs as suggested by some party leaders who felt he could be a “spiritual guide”, Mukherjee said there was no question of being in politics but he would be available for advice. “Advice I can always give but to actively participate in a political party, no President has done it. Rajendra Prasad, Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma all of them were Presidents (from Congress ranks), they also did not think of joining politics. They were bigger Congressmen than I am”, he added.
On his experience of dealing with ordinances, Mukherjee said urgency must be a defining factor in their promulgation and this was lacking in some instances. On the controversial UPA ordinance seeking to overturn a judicial verdict barring a convicted legislator from contesting elections, he said the Manmohan government had accepted his reservations and shelved the move.
Source : timesofindia