Andhra Pradesh

Farm unions extend support to movement against privatisation of steel plant

The national emblem of India, the Lion Pillar of Ashoka, signifies the message ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (truth alone triumphs), which is known to every citizen in the country. But, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is speaking falsehood day in and day out, national leaders of farmers and workers unions have alleged.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Ashok Dhawale, All India Kisan Sangarsh State Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) State convener Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao, Vyavasaya Karmika Sangham national president B. Venkat were among those who came down to the city to participate in the ‘Rythu Karmika Sankharavam’, organised on Beach Road on Sunday, to oppose the privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).

Speaking to the media on the occasion, Mr. Dhawale has extended total support to the agitation by the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee to save the VSP from privatisation. He commended all parties in the State except the BJP, for their unity in opposing the privatisation of the VSP. The agitation for the VSP was gaining support all over the country, he said.

Mr. Dhawale underlined the need to protect the livelihood of VSP workers and the farmers, who had given their lands for the establishment of the plant. He said that other public sector units(PSUs) in the country would also meet the same fate, if VSP was allowed to be privatised.

In the last seven years, the Union government was busy privatising telecom, education, medical and health, ports and airports. These ‘anti-people and pro-corporate’ policies have helped 140 top corporate groups to make a profit of $ 596 billion, despite the pandemic situation. The policies of the Union government were being opposed by the people of all States in the country, Mr. Dhawale said.

Mr. Rakesh Tikait said that lakhs of farmers, who were waging struggles in the national capital seeking legalisation of Minimum Support Price (MSP), were all supporting the movement against privatisation of PSUs. Describing the VSP as the ‘property of the local people’ as it was established on the land given by the local farmers, he said that the people of India have understood that the Union government was only interested in the welfare of a few corporate groups.

AIKS leader Balkaran Singh, from Punjab, alleged that the target of the Union government was to privatise land, air and water. He drew a parallel between the East India Company, which had plundered the wealth of the nation in the name of trade, and the Centre, which was out to hand over public assets to corporate groups.

Mr. Sobhanadreeswara Rao, AP Rythu Sangham general secretary M. Suryanarayana, AP Koula Rythulua Sangham general secretary P. Jamalayya and AIKS vice president Ravula Venkayya spoke.

Ukku Porata Committee chairmen Ch. Narasinga Rao, Mantri Rajasekhar and M. Adinarayana were among those present.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 9:35:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/farm-unions-extend-support-to-movement-against-privatisation-of-steel-plant/article34350017.ece

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