In a climbdown from its earlier stand on the nuclear question, the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) on Wednesday restricted itself to the demand that the UPA government must get parliamentary clearance before proceeding further, but threatened to launch a countrywide agitation to expose the Manmohan Singh government's disregard to farmers' issues.
The UNPA leaders' change of heart on the nuclear issue is seen as fallout of group convener N Chandrababu Naidu's meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday with Left party leaders. The demand for the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the nuclear issue is no longer being pursued following decisions reached at Tuesday's meeting of UNPA leaders, Naidu told a press conference.
Following his meeting with CPI (M) leader Prakash Karat on Tuesday, Naidu met other Left leaders including Sitaram Yechuri, AB Bardhan and D Raja on Wednesday morning.
Evoking 'Telegu pride', Naidu announced that beginning with the Vijaywada meeting of November 24, the UNPA would conduct countrywide agitations to demand that the minimum support price for paddy be hiked to Rs 1000 per quintal.
Angry at having been denied an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the last 14 days, Naidu said, "This is a serious issue and the Prime Minister – by denying me an appointment – has insulted the entire farming community."