UNPA for debate on n-deal, drops JPC demand


New Delhi : The United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) demands a debate in parliament on the India-US nuclear deal but will not press for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on it, the coalition’s convener N. Chandrababu Naidu said here Wednesday.

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Clearing the air over the stance of the “third front” on the nuclear deal, Chandrababu Naidu clearly indicated that the UNPA had abandoned its earlier position, which was closer to that of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), demanding a JPC and had instead agreed with the Left’s position seeking a debate in parliament to get the sense of the house.

Replying to a series of questions on this issue, he admitted at a press briefing here that the alliance had slightly modified its stand on the nuclear deal after its leaders met Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat.

“Yes, we are demanding that the matter be discussed in parliament and the sense of parliament be taken,” he said.

In reply to another question, he admitted that the UNPA was not insisting anymore on a JPC.

He conceded that the AIADMK had drifted away from the coalition launched earlier this year. He added: “It is for her (AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha) to say whether she is part of the UNPA or not.”

As head of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Chandrababu Naidu said he would lead a “big movement of farmers” in his home state of Andhra Pradesh and all over the country to make “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh see the power of people”.

The former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and other TDP leaders returned to Hyderabad Wednesday evening after a three-day stay in Delhi, without getting an appointment with Manmohan Singh.

“I had sought an appointment to articulate the demands of people, to seek a raise in the minimum support price (MSP) of rice, to demand lifting the current ban on rice export and to bring to his notice the general plight of the farmers.”