Andhra Pradesh

BJP changing stand on privatisation of steel plant, alleges Ganta

Ganta Srinivasa Rao  

Former Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao has taken strong exception to the BJP leaders’ alleged change of stand on privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) during the past few days.

Addressing a media conference here on Sunday, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that all parties were opposed to the privatisation of the VSP and had fought against the decision of the Centre. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing the decision and so did former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Jana Sena Party (JSP) and State BJP and the Left parties had all organised protests against the move, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

The former Minister said that during the last two days, the BJP leaders had changed their stand alleging that the Opposition parties were raising a hue and cry though the nothing has happened to the VSP.

He wondered what more clarity was needed after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in the Budget that VSP would be fully privatised.

Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had replied to a query raised by Rajya Sabha Member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy that an agreement was made with POSCO in October, 2019, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said. Mr. Pradhan had also said that discussions were held with POSCO representatives thrice, he added.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao ridiculed the BJP leaders for saying that the VSP would not be moved out of the city. Once the plant was privatised, the fate of the plant and its employees would be in the hands of the private investor, the former Minister said.

He recalled that Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) plant in Visakhapatnam was run for two years after it was privatised and later shut down by the investor. He demanded that the BJP leaders come out with an assurance that they would not allow privatisation of the VSP. JSP Chief Pawan Kalyan has greater responsibility as his party was an ally of the BJP, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

He recalled that former MP K. Yerrannaidu had sought allocation of captive mines for the VSP in 2006. He called for collective efforts to prevent privatisation of the steel plant. He also called upon films stars, intellectuals, sports persons and poets to oppose the move.

He alleged that while people were agitated on the issue, the BJP was trying to divert their attention.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 10:15:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/bjp-changing-stand-on-privatisation-of-steel-plant-alleges-ganta/article33898077.ece

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