RINL ignoring growing public protest against disinvestment, says Narsinga Rao

Over 150 CPI (M) activists were arrested when they were protesting against disinvestment of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited at the Collectorate on Monday.

As part of ‘Chalo Collectorate’ programme, a large group of CPI (M) activists led by party district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao, city secretary B. Ganga Rao and CITU State vice-president A. Ajay Sarma were arrested by II Town Police for trying to lay siege to the Collectorate.

Earlier, Mr. Narsinga Rao addressed the protesters and alleged that the UPA-II Government was going ahead with listing of RINL ignoring growing public protest against disinvestment.

He recalled how VSP was established after the ‘Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku’ agitation led by Tenneti Viswanatham.

Stating that the people of AP had an emotional attachment to VSP, Mr. Rao said it was unfortunate that the Centre was diluting 10 per cent of its equity. “This is only a beginning. It will be handed over to private hands after sale of equity of RINL in phases,” he said.

Slogans raised

Waving red flags and wearing red shirts, the activists earlier raised slogans against the UPA Government and the Congress for their attempts to privatise profit-making public sector units.

The relay hunger fast in front of the main gate of VSP by all the unions entered fourth day on Monday.

State AITUC general secretary Obulesu, State vice-president K. Krishna Rao CPI district secretariat member J. Stalin and YSRCP leader T. Nagi Reddy spoke.

Two-day strike

VSP union leaders N. Rama Rao, Y. Mastanappa, Mantri Sankarnarayana, G. Bosubabu, J. Ramakrishna and others called for making October 12 and 13 strike a grand success.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, CPI State secretary K. Narayana sought his intervention to stop disinvestment of RINL. He said going by the circumstances which led to establishment of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the PM should immediately stop the IPO.