VISAKHAPATNAM: With the Centre going ahead with its plans to sell its stake in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the workers’ unions have decided to take their agitation to the streets of the national capital. The Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee, which is spearheading the agitation against the privatisation of VSP, has decided to hold a maha dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on August 2 and 3 as part of its call for ‘Chalo Parliament’.
The committee leaders met here on Monday to roll out its agitation programme as the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) expedited the 100 per cent strategic sale of RINL.
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Committee chairmen Ch Narasinga Rao, Mantri Rajasekhar and D Adinarayana said a delegation of leaders would visit New Delhi on July 20 and 21 to mobilise the support of all national parties for the Vizag steel agitation.
“We have also written to all the MPs from the State urging them to raise the steel plant issue in the ensuing Parliament session and support our agitation outside Parliament,’’ they said. As many as 3,000 VSP workers would participate in the two-day ‘Chalo Parliament’ programme, they announced. It was also decided to meet leaders from Telangana State to get their support for the VSP agitation. “Already, several leaders from Telangana including IT Minister KT Rama Rao supported our agitation. Senior leader and former MP V Hanumantha Rao had visited Visakhapatnam to extend solidarity to the agitating steel plant employees,’’ they said.
Narasinga Rao said as part of the agitation, a mass dharna will be staged at Jantar Mantar from morning to evening on August 2 & 3. “We appeal to all the parties, workers unions across the State to participate in the direct agitation and extend solidarity with the steel plant agitation,” he said, adding they would not allow privatisation of the plant under any circumstances.
Asserting that they have the support of all sections of people, he said the BJP government at the Centre should honour the sentiments of the people of Andhra Pradesh and roll back its decision to privatise the VSP. Mantri Rajasekhar said the Centre, which hardly made any investment in the plant, has no right to sell it.
“The plant is a national asset and property of people. The BJP government will face severe consequences if it goes ahead with the privatisation plan,’’ he said and urged the MPs from the State to stall the Parliament proceedings demanding revocation of the privatisation notification.
Committee convener J Ayodhya Ram said they will not allow those who are planning to sell and buy the plant to enter Visakhapatnam. Meanwhile, the relay hunger strike launched by the Porata committee at Kurmannapalem junction entered its 141st day on Monday. Addressing the camp, Ayodhyaram said their agitation will continue till the privatisation proposal was withdrawn. Praja Natya Mandali State secretary Anil said they will organise kala jathas, skits and folk dances to create awareness among people about steel plant agitation across the state.
August 2 and 3:Maha dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi
3,000 VSP workers to participate in the two-day ‘Chalo Parliament’ programme
July 20 and 2: Delegation of leaders to visit Delhi seeking the support of parties
Porata Committee leaders to meet leaders from Telangana State, seeking their support