Andhra Pradesh

‘Stir will continue till Centre drops proposal to sell VSP’

Women members of the VSP struggle committee forming a human chain at the Jagadamba junction in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

The agitation against the proposed 100% strategic sale of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) will be completing 300 days on Wednesday.

The struggle committee, Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee, which was formed by the employees and trade union members, will be staging a ‘mega dharna’ on the occasion at Gajuwaka on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Hindu on Tuesday, Ch. Narasinga Rao, one of the chairmen of the committee, said the struggle would be intensified in the days to come, and continue till the BJP-led Union government dropped the proposal to privatise the VSP.

He pointed out that the proposal to float Expression of Interest (EoI) for coke oven batteries 3 and 4 indicated that the government was unable to get a suitable bidder for the strategic sale. The government had tried this with the Steel Melting Shop -2 and the thermal plant, and failed.

“This time too we will not allow the sale to happen. The plant cannot be sold either in full or in pieces,” said Mr. Narasinga Rao.

Thanking all the employees and members of the trade unions for their support to the agitation, JMS Union general secretary V. Srinivasa Rao said the BJP had been against public sector units since the beginning.

The Centre should withdraw the proposal to sell the VSP as it had done in the case of the farm laws, he said.

Addressing a meeting at the GVMC office, where members of the struggle committee had been staging a relay hunger strike for the last 250 days, AIDWA State president B. Prabhavathi said Visakhapatnam had grown due to the public sectors such as the VSP, and many families depended directly or indirectly on the PSUs for a living.

“Employment is the key driver for societal growth, and VSP has provided that for the north Andhra region,” she said.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had come to power saying he would provide employment for two crore youths. Now, instead of providing employment, his government is bent on taking away the existing jobs,” she alleged.

Human chain

Earlier, the women’s wing of the struggle committee organised a human chain near Jagadamba junction.

Members of the wing pointed out that the Centre’s National Monetisation Policy was a ploy to privatise all core sectors such as power, Railways, telecommunication, airports and roads.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 1:16:02 AM |

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