Andhra Pradesh

Why not revive steel plant, questions AIKS chief

The Union government is working against the common man and its sole goal is to benefit the corporate houses, especially those belonging to the Ambanis and Adanis, alleged All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) president Ashok Dhawale.

Mr. Dhawale was in the city along with other leaders who are leading the farmers’ agitation in New Delhi, to participate in a meeting held on Sunday against the 100% strategic sale of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

Speaking to The Hindu, the AIKS president alleged that privatisation of the steel plant was also a part of that agenda to hand over public property to corporate firms.

However, the agitation is now no longer limited to being merely a struggle of the workers of the plant, but has become a struggle for the people of India and a political struggle, Mr. Dhawale said.

“VSP has a unique history, as its establishment comes wrapped in sacrifice of many people and it is not just a plant, but a symbol of people’s struggle. When things can be revived with some minor changes, why think of selling it to a private player for a song?” Mr. Dhawale questioned.

“We shall not let it happen and the VSP’s struggle will become the nerve centre in the future for all struggles against privatisation,” he said.

Three farm laws

Speaking about the agitation against the three farm laws, he said that the agitation will be completing 150 days on April 25 and it has been the longest and biggest protest by the farmers in the entire world. It has been secular and peaceful and about 350 have lost their lives so far, but the farmers will not budge from their demands, said Mr. Dhawale.

The AIKS president pointed out that the agitation was no longer a farmers protest, but has now turned into a protest against the ‘unholy’ government-corporate nexus.

The basic idea is to do away with the MSP (minimum support price) system and government procurement of food grains, Mr. Dhawale alleged.

“If the government does not procure food grains and store them in the godowns of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), how will it run the public distribution system, which is the lifeline for 81.3 crore people?” Mr. Dhawale questioned.

The basic idea is to disband the PDS and hand over distribution to the corporates. But the government does not realise that it will affect the lives of crores who are dependant on the PDS, said Mr. Dhawale.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 10:48:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/why-not-revive-steel-plant-questions-aiks-chief/article34353523.ece

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