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Kalam for 2-party system, CPI fumes

Press Trust Of India  |  New Delhi 

In remarks that may raise a controversy in the current coalition era, President A P J Abdul Kalam today favoured a stable two-party system, saying its absence was one of the many challenges facing the nation.
"Many challenges need to be responded to: the emergence of multi-party coalitions as a regular form of government, which need to rapidly evolve as a stable, two-party system...," the President said.
He was addressing a gathering of MPs, Union ministers and senior leaders to mark the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence, perhaps his last public function in Parliament as his term is ending on July 24.
Kalam did not elaborate on the issue but his remarks came under instant criticism from the CPI which called them "unwarranted and harmful", saying he should not have made such a statement on the eve of his retirement. "We take strong objection to it. It is unwarranted, harmful and not in tune with the democratic traditions of the country," CPI leader Gurudas Das Gupta told reporters here. "He (Kalam) is occupying the highest seat and on the eve of his retirement he should not have made such a statement," Gupta added.
Congress, leading the coalition, however, said it had no view in the matter.

First Published: Fri, May 11 2007. 00:00 IST