Andhra Pradesh

‘Farmers’ agitation should inspire steel plant workers’

CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member B.V. Raghavulu on Sunday called upon steel plant workers to draw inspiration from the farmers’ agitation in Delhi and continue their united struggle to force the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre to repeal its decision on the strategic sale of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).

Addressing a press meet on Sunday, Mr. Raghavulu said that the Centre has remained adamant in its stand despite all political parties supporting the agitation by VSP employees who have been organising relay hunger strikes for the past 297 days. He expressed optimism that if the steel workers remain united, the BJP government would be forced to repeal its decision.

Referring to the proposal of the Centre to privatise the coke oven batteries, he said that the CPI(M) was opposed to privatisation, be it partial or complete. He called upon all other parties to clarify their stand on the issue and appealed to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to take the lead and adopt another resolution in the Assembly against the privatisation of VSP to increase pressure on the Centre to reconsider its decision.

On the claims of the Centre on repeal of the Farm Laws, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member demanded that it should come out with a statement on payment of compensation to the kin of 750 farmers who had lost their lives during the agitation. The Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be accorded legal status as demanded by the farmers, he said. Referring to the statements of the Centre on its inability to procure paddy at a time when it was ready for harvest, he described them as ‘unfortunate’ and sought procurement of paddy as also cotton, which was produced in the two Telugu States.

On the proposal to privatise two public sector banks, he recalled that it was the public sector banks which had prevented an economic crisis despite the pandemic situation. He also sought that the State government revive the cooperative sugar factories in the State, particularly the Thandava and Etikoppaka sugar factories in Visakhapatnam district. He also demanded that the YSRCP government oppose the conditions imposed by the BJP government on ‘metering of free power’, garbage fee and privatisation of discoms. He alleged that the BJP was curtailing the rights of the State governments in violation of the spirit of federal system.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:02:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/farmers-agitation-should-inspire-steel-plant-workers/article37859495.ece

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