PM should quit if he has no respect for democracy: Naidu

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New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) TDP chief and UNPA Convenor N Chandrababu Naidu today demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for insulting democracy by refusing to receive a delegation of MPs from Andhra Pradesh which wanted to meet him and submit a memorandum seeking remunarative prices for paddy.

A 10-member TDP MPs' delegation headed by him has been camping here for more than 10 days, waiting for an appointment with Dr Singh, but Dr Singh did not even respond to the request, which was an insult to democracy and farmers of the country, Mr Naidu told reporters.

The TDP first wrote to the Prime Minister on October 10 and again on October 15 and till date there was no word from him. Dr Singh was heading the government of India, not a corporate, and as such ignoring the request of elected representatives, headed by someone who has been Chief Minister for eight years and convenor of the ruling United Front coalition at the Centre for nearly three years was an assault on the democratic system, he said.

Neither he, nor his party or the United Nationalist Progressive Alliance (UNPA) was at the ''mercy'' of Dr Singh and they knew how to bring about awareness among the farmers on the Centre's apathy towards the plight of the tillers.

The Centre had no right to discriminate the paddy-growers against wheat-growers by announcing minimum support prices which had a huge difference between the two agriculture produce, he said.

TDP wanted Rs 1,000 a quintal for paddy, at par with wheat, he said. The party also demanded the lifting of the ban on rice exports. Prices should not be checked at the cost of farmers, Mr Naidu argued.

Replying to questions, he said his party was in touch with the Left on various issues, including the nuclear deal, price rise and the growing rich-poor divide.

TDP wanted a Parliamentary debate, in any form, on the Indo-US nuclear agreement.

The first conference of the newly-floated UNPA would be held in Vijayawada on November 24, he said.


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