Vizag steel plant staff intensify protest after Centre’s affidavit

A day after the Central government filed an affidavit in the Andhra Pradesh High Court justifying Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) sale plan, employees staged a protest on Thursday.

Large numbers of steel plant workers reached the administrative building to hold protest, leading to some tense moments.

Some of them even tried to block workers going to attend their duty in the steel plant at that time.

In the affidavit filed in the High Court, the central government claimed that the iron and steel sector has not been categorized as strategic in the new public sector enterprise policy under Atmanirbar Bharat.

The Centre asserted that employees’ rights are not fundamental and noted that the policy allowed selling away public sector enterprises which are non-strategic and wherever possible.

The cabinet committee of economic affairs took this decision in January.

For months together already, steel plant workers unions, employees and their families have been protesting against the central government’s steel plant sale plan.

Hundreds of employees took out rallies and sloganeered to protest the Centre’s plans.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote a couple of letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look at alternative plans other than selling away the steel plant.

However, the affidavit makes it clear that there is no change in the central government’s plans.