VISAKHAPATNAM: Even as the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is getting ready to open the bids for legal and transaction advisors for facilitating the strategic sale of the RINL, steel plant workers under the banner of Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee are getting ready for their agitation, including Chalo Parliament, two-day dharna at Jantar Mantar and picketing at steel plant administrative block.
A large number of steel plant workers undertook a padayatra on Sunday in Kurmannapalem, Duvvada road, Kaniti road and Vadlapudi Nirvasitula colony to mobilise support for the proposed ‘Chalo Parliament’ and dharna at Jantar Mantar on August 2 and 3 to oppose the privatisation of the steel plant. The padayatra began at the relay hunger strike camp at Kurmannapalem Junction and en route, the workers raised slogans opposing the sale of the steel plant.
Committee chairman D Ainarayana said a delegation of the committee met all floor leaders of various parties in Parliament, MPs and Ministers, including finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman in Delhi during their three-day visit. He said they got overwhelming support from MPs, who promised to raise their voice against privatisation and participate in the dharna at Jantar Mantar.
Steel plant recognised union president J Ayodhya Ram said through their agitation, they will send a strong message to the Union government. “The steel plant paid over Rs 40,000 crore to the Centre in the form of taxes and dividends. If the captive mines are allotted, the steel workers strive to earn a profit of over Rs 3,000 crore a year. The Centre which had made hardly any investment has no right to privatise the steel plant,” he said and alleged that the strategic sale plan is a conspiracy to hand over VSP to a company from Gujarat.
The workers will lay siege to the administrative block of the VSP on July 29 when DIPAM opens bids to finalise the advisors for the strategic sale. Nirvasitual Sangham leaders said they will not allow privatisation of the plant as 8,000 displaced persons are yet to get jobs at the steel plant.