VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee, which has been spearheading the agitation against privatisation of the RINL, corporate entity of VSP, has decided to hold a 24-hour hunger strike with 250 persons on October 19 to mark the 250th day of their agitation. The committee also decided to hold cultural programmes in Nirvasitula colonies and other areas to mobilise support against privatisation. A ‘Mahila Garjana’ will be organised at Ukkunagaram to bring pressure on the Centre to withdraw its decision to privatise the steel plant, according to committee convener and president of the recognised steel plant union J Ayodhya Ram.
Speaking to mediapersons here on Saturday, he said the porata committee was agitating for the last nine months to retain the steel plant under the public sector. All political parties, barring the BJP, were extending wholehearted support to the steel plant agitation. He said ignoring the agitation, the government has finalised Ernst and Young LLP (EY) as transaction advisor and Chandhiok and Mahajan as legal advisor for facilitating the privatisation of the plant. Bids of Rs 4.95 crore for transaction advisor and Rs 17 lakh for legal advisory were finalised. He said they will not allow anyone, including steel ministry officials, ministers and advisors to enter the steel plant.
“We will exert pressure on the Centre by intensifying the agitation,” Ayodhya Ram said. Porata committee chairman Ch. Narasingha Rao said it was a conspiracy to hand over the steel plant to corporate houses on a platter and they would intensify their agitation at the state level. As a part of it, they held a meeting in Vizianagaram where all parties were brought under one banner to fight for the steel plant, he said. A one-crore signature campaign was also launched against the privatisation of the steel plant.