Andhra Pradesh

Bandh against move to privatise VSP evokes mixed response

YSRCP leaders V. Vijaya Sai Reddy, M. Srinivasa Rao, and K. Kannababu taking out a rally opposing the decision to privatise VSP, in Visakhapatnam on Friday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

The State bandh called against the Union government’s move to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) evoked mixed response in the city and district on Friday.

The bandh call was given by trade unions, political parties barring the BJP, and people’s organisations under the banner of Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee.

Buses off the road

With the YSRCP government extending its support to the bandh, APSRTC buses were confined to the depots. The roads wore a deserted look. Educational institutions declared a holiday in advance. Autorickshaws too did not ply with trade unions appealing to the auto drivers to voluntarily participate in the bandh.

Leaders and activists of the Left parties and people’s organisations took out a rally on the National Highway near Maddilapalem. They stopped private buses and raised slogans such as ‘Visakha Ukku – Andhrula Hakku’, and appealed to all sections to participate in the bandh.

The impact was conspicuous at Kurmannapalem, Gajuwaka, Malkapuram and the industrial area of the city with workers opting for mass casual leave and coming out onto the roads. A rally was taken out from old Gajuwaka to the petrol bunk at Malkapuram. Most shops downed their shutters voluntarily in the industrial area, but in other parts of the city they were open.

Banks remained open

Even banks, both public and private, and small and big department stores remained opened in many parts of the city.

“Employees of Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) went on mass casual leave and came out onto the roads to oppose privatisation of VSP. The workers of VSP boycotted their duties and joined the protest. We have exempted the workers posted in vital areas and officers who are required to prevent disruption of production,” CPI(M) State Secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao said.

In some parts of the city, CPI State joint secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy led the protest.

YSRCP MP V. Vijaya Sai Reddy, Tourism Minister M. Srinivasa Rao and Agriculture Minister K. Kannababu led rallies at various places.

A protest was staged by the Visakhapatnam Port workers at the Administrative Office Building of the VPT.

Protests staged

Leaders of various parties took out rallies and staged protests in Krishna and West Godavari districts demanding that the Centre withdraw its move to privatise VSP.

Holding party flags and placards, activists of the CPI, the CPI(M), the YSRCP, the TDP and the Congress took out rallies at several places.

The CPI and CPI(M) activists staged a dharna at the Lenin Centre in Vijayawada, while the AP NGOs’ Association staged a protest at Gandhi Nagar. Protests were also staged at Kaikalur, Mudinepalli, Jaggaiahpeta, Gudivada and other places in Krishna district.

In West Godavari district, leaders of various parties staged dharna in Eluru, Jangareddygudem, Bhimavaram, Kovvur and other places.

Police arranged tight security at Tanuku, Narsapuram, Polavaram, and other places. Superintendent of Police K. Narayan Naik said that forces had been deployed as a precautionary measure.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 11:08:15 AM |

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