Declaring that all political parties and trade unions in Tamil Nadu were speaking in one voice in opposing the Centre’s plan to sell five per cent stake in the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi on Tuesday urged the Union government to accept the Jayalalithaa government’s proposal of purchasing the stake and close the matter by according exemption to the company under the Securities Contract (Regulation) Rules.
Karunanidhi reflected most of the opinions of a statement issued by his party’s labour wing on Sunday, pointing out that even as the State government continues its attempts to sort out the row by purchasing the five percent stake, there has been no change in the intentions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to sell the stake to the public.
“All trade unions functioning in NLC and all political parties in TN are opposing the disinvestment in one voice. Keeping this in mind, I urge the Centre to bring the matter to an end by according exemption to the sale of five percent stake to the State government and drop its push to sell it to the public, keeping in mind future power needs of Tamil Nadu and the welfare of NLC workers,” said Karunanidhi.
950 NLC Staff Held
Over 950 employees of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) belonging to different labour unions were arrested early on Tuesday morning when they picketed the thermal power station I opposing the disinvestment of shares.
According to a top official, the power generation from thermal power stations was maintained at 2,200 MW against the capacity of 2,490 MW. The employees, led by Joint Action Committee convenor and general secretary of Labour Progressive Front (LPF), S Rajavanniyan took out a rally to thermal unit I. As they laid a siege at the unit, the police moved in and arrested them.
Rajavanniyan said the trade unions would continue with the agitation till the Centre abandons the move to disinvest 5 per cent of the PSU’s shares.
Rajavanniyan said the Centre had proposed to disinvest only 5 per cent of NLC shares now. If it is allowed, the disinvestment would be gradually increased to 49 per cent in the future. If the shares are disinvested, private directors would be there on the NLC’s board, he added.