VIJAYAWADA: Extending his party’s complete support to the ‘Save Vizag Steel’ agitation, TDP supremo and leader of opposition N Chandrababu Naidu reiterated that his party’s elected representatives would be ready to resign from their posts for the sake of the steel plant in the port city. Also, he asked Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to join the struggle and lead it from the front.
In a letter to the convenor of Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee on Friday, Naidu said the continued struggle for the steel plant despite many hurdles and hindrances is laudable. The TDP chief termed it as heartwarming to see the consistent and united protests being carried out against the move to privatise Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, by the Ukku committee. The steel plant was achieved after a long struggle by the Telugu people who, in the 1960s, rose above region, religion and caste to unite for the cause under the slogan ‘Visakha Ukku-Andhrula Hakku’, Naidu observed.
Recalling the sacrifices of the agitators, Naidu said: “In spite of many hurdles, the steel plant was built and dedicated to the nation in 1992. Since the plant had accumulated losses to the tune of about Rs 4,000 crore by 2000, there was a proposal to privatise the plant by the then Union Government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Upon the request by the Government of Andhra Pradesh request, the Government of India provided a restructuring package Rs 1,333 crore, which helped the plant to turn profitable.” Naidu said he pledges his complete support to the struggle to save Visakha Steel Plant under the leadership of Ukku Committee.