VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee leaders were critical of the Union government’s stand that either it will privatise the steel plant or close it. Speaking on the 180th day of the relay fast at Kurmannapalem, chairman Mantri Rajasekhar said it is time teach the government a lesson for wanting to sell ‘navaratna’ PSUs such as Visakhapatnam steel plant.
He said it is unfortunate that those who are questioning looting of national property are being branded as anti-nationals and arrested. He said a do or die battle should be launched to protect the steel plant from going into the hands of private players who will not protect the interests of employees. Employees of various wings of the steel plant participated in the relay fast. Porata committee leaders YT Das and others also addressed the gathering.
Speaking to TNIE, committee chairman D Adinarayana said the committee will intensify the agitation as the Centre is adamant on its stand. He said the committee leaders have decided to go on a tour of districts after August 17 to mobilise support and hold dharnas against the privatisation. He said there should be political support to give a fillip to their agitation. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu should give an open call to people to oppose the steel plant privatisation so as to bring pressure on the BJP-led government.
He said CPI national secretary Narayana had written letter to YSRC MP Vijayasai Reddy urging him to bring all the parties under one platform to oppose the privatisation. A delegation of all-party leaders should go to vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu, who participated in the steel plant agitation as a student leader, Adinarayana said.