Hundreds of Visakhapatnam Steel plant employees, political parties’ cadres, among others in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam are protesting against the recent decision announced by the Central government in Union Budget 2020-21 to privatise the steel plant.
“This is the worst decision taken by Modi government. Making a 100 per cent strategic sale of the steel plant is wicked. Andhra Pradesh developed because of Visakhapatnam Steel plant,” said Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Narsing Rao.
The Left leader said the steel plant was the reason for Visakhapatnam to develop so well and complained that a profitable steel plant has been pushed into losses.
Rao said that the city has the history of salvaging the Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCI) by fighting with the Central government.
If the need arises, he threatened that agitators would stall the state to save the steel plant from privatisation.
Rao alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to sell all the government companies and recalled that this steel plant was obtained after a major struggle.
CPI leader J. V. Satyanarayana Murthy said people of Visakhapatnam need not be taught how to fight, reminding that the steel plant itself was procured after a big movement.
“Though Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman came as a daughter-in-law to Andhra Pradesh, she has now thrown chilli powder into her mother-in-law’s eyes. She is attempting to plunder the riches of this state or dole them out to the people the Centre likes but we will retaliate,” Murthy added.
Not only the steel plant employees, he added, people in Andhra Pradesh would repel the move to sell the steel plant.
He advised Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to mount a united front, taking all the political parties into confidence to salvage the steel plant.
Meanwhile, an employee of the steel plant advised that all the MPs of the state should resign if necessary to save the steel plant.
He demanded that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister depute his MPs to Delhi to fight and save the plant and highlighted that an action plan is being worked out to fight under the leadership of Nara Lokesh, the son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu.