Kalamspeak on 2-party system irks Left

Updated on May 10, 2007 07:23 PM IST
Kalam stresses on 2-party system during his speech in Parliament to mark 150 years the 1857 Mutiny, reports Anil Anand.
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None | ByAnil Anand, New Delhi

Apparently piqued by the growing unruliness in the Parliament and the state legislatures, President APJ Abdul Kalam has said the sustained development of India could only be achieved through “coherent, orderly and effective” leadership on these fora.

In this context, he counted on the need to evolve a two-party mechanism which he felt was as a challenge before the nation currently witnessing the emergence of multi-party coalitions.

His two party theory drew a sharp reaction from the Left parties. “We take strong objection to it. It is unwarranted, harmful and not in tune with the democratic traditions,” said CPI’s Gurudas Das Gupta. Echoing similar views CPM leader Nilotpal Basu said; “ Days of single party hegemony in India are over. It cannot be replaced with a bi-polar system.”

“Many challenges need to be responded to and the emergence of multi-party coalitions as a regular form of government, that need to rapidly evolve as a stable government, two party system and strengthen internal security to cope with global terrorism…… ,” he said addressing a function, in the historic central hall of Parliament House, held to celebrate 150th anniversary of the first war of Independence.

Kalam’s anguish also found relevance when Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal stunned the gathering moments before the President’s address by rising in protest during the course of Vice-President Bhairon Singh’s Shekhwat’s address. He protested against the 1845 Anglo-Sikh war not being treated as the first war of independence. He was joined by MPs Tarlochan Singh (independent) and Rattan Singh Ajnala and V S Bajwa (both Shiromani Akali Dal).

Kalam set forth his vision 2020, which he felt, should be pursued by the Parliament and the legislatures to make the country enlightened, harmonious, rich, prosperous and safe. “You can become great leaders if you enliven Parliament with leadership to transform the country,” he asked the young MPs.

The spirit of the 1857 uprising was truly created through a blend of music and poetry by leading singers Jagjit Singh and Shuba Mudgal and the famous writer-poet Gulzar. Last Mughal emperor and torch-bearer of the first freedom struggle, Bahadur Shah Zafar’s famous ‘ghazal’ ‘Lagta nahin hai dil mera ujre daya mein………’ set the tone for the solemn occasion. Ghazal singer Jagjit’s lent his deep resonant voice to cast a spell. Mudgal presented another facet of the struggle. ‘Bundele harbolon ke mooh hamne suni kahani thi……’ came the impressive rendition by her of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan’s famous poem lauding the sacrifice of Laxmi Bai. ‘1857- a nazm, specially composed by him for the occasion, was narrated by noted writer-poet-lyricist Gulzar.

Later, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the events of 1857 as a great testimony to the traditions of Hindu-Muslim unity. "It is our responsibility to build a nation free from want and rid it of the ancient scourge of poverty, ignorance and disease," he said.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee described the 1857 uprising as an “ epoch making” event in the history of India’ freedom struggle. The sense of unity displayed by all sections was a unique feature of this war, he averred.

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