July 18, 2021

AP: Agitation Continues to Protect Vizag Steel

B Tulasidas

TRADE unions and other mass organisation leaders reiterated that the agitation will go on to protect the Vizag Steel Plant in the public sector. Huge rally and public meetings were organised in Visakhapatnam on July 10, on completion of 100 days of the relay hunger strike camp run by trade unions and various mass organisations at Gandhi statue near GVMC office.

A scooter rally started from the Steel Plant and thousands of workers and people joined it on the way, which culminated at the public meeting. Another rally was conducted from Saraswati Park.
Speaking on this occasion, M A Gafoor, state general secretary of CITU lashed out at the Modi government for the hasty and disastrous attempts to privatise the public sector units and peoples’ property. He appealed to the people to take part in united struggles to protect steel, airlines, railway, ship yards, banking, power etc to remain in public sector. AITUC state general secretary, G Obulesh alleged that Modi government has been trying to handover public assets to Ambanis and Adanis. He appealed the political parties in the state to unitedly fight against the privatisation of Vizag Steel.

Andhra Pradesh state assembly moved a unanimous resolution against privatisation of Vizag Steel and it was sent to the central government. But the central government did not honour the feeling of the people of AP, said Ch Narasinga Rao, chairman of the struggle committee and CITU state president. He appealed the MPs to stall the parliament and to push back the decision of the Modi government.

Mantri Rajasekhar, another chairman of the struggle committee and INTUC state general secretary said that Modi has been trying to sell away public property but the working class will fight back these attempts. IFTU leader G Venkateswar Rao, CIFTU leader Kanaka Rao and others spoke on the occasion. TDP leader and former MLA Bandaru Satyanarayana Murty assured that the MPs of his party will raise this issue in parliament. Tippala Devan Reddy, constituency in charge of YSRCP said that his party vehemently opposes privatisation and will continue to  take part in the ongoing struggle.

The Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee has called upon the steel plant workers to make the ‘Chalo Parliament’, which is being organised on August 2 and 3 against the privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, a success.

Addressing the media on July 12, Ch Narasinga Rao said that the centre had recently issued tenders for appointment of ‘transaction adviser’ and ‘legal adviser’ as part of its decision on the strategic sale of the VSP. Chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has already written two letters and sent the unanimous resolution adopted by the assembly against the privatisation move to the centre.