After our report about “Opposition to Privatise RINL VSP Intensifying”, there have been several reports over weekend about various groups including employees, trade unions, civic groups & political parties have reacted to the proposed strategic sale of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited. On Friday, hundreds of VSP employees, affiliated to various trade unions, organised a rally from Kurmannapalem to the Gandhi statue near the GVMC office, to stage a protest and demand the immediate rescinding of the proposal. All trade unions such as CITU, AITUC, INTUC and YSRC Party Trade Union have joined hands to stage the protest and they collectively took a decision to oppose the sale. Various political parties have also lent support to the movement to stop sale of RINL
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has written to Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision. He said “The Government of Andhra Pradesh is ready to work with the Ministry of steel to protect the jewel of Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, I request you to kindly reconsider the disinvestment plans of RINL Visakhapatnam and explore other opportunities to put the plant back on track.”
Andhra Pradesh Industries minister Mr Mekapati Gautham Reddy said that plant ownership should be transferred to the state government after taking away the debt burden by the Centre. He said “Since the Centre has come out with a decision to withdraw its stake in the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Visakhapatnam Steel Plant it should consider transfer of the asset to the state in return of granting a new plant. We will protect the steel plant as it is the pride of the state. It is not wise to handover a plant set up after such long-drawn public agitation.”
Lok Sabha member from Visakhapatnam Mr MVV Satyanarayana said he will resign from the parliament if the central government goes ahead with privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. The MP said a delegation will visit New Delhi soon and hold discussions with union finance minister Ms Nirmala Sitaraman and other senior ministers for reconsideration of the decision. He pointed out that he had written a letter to union steel minister and finance minister on January 30 asking them not to privatise the steel plant though it was running in losses.
TDP chief and former Andhra chief minister Mr Chandrababu Naidu targeted the YSRCP government asking what the state government is doing when the Visakhapatnam steel plant which directly employs 18,000 permanent employees, 22,000 contract employees and indirectly employs millions, is being privatized. TDP MLA from Vizag north former minister Mr Ganta Srinivasa Rao resigned from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly over the issue.
Congress party organised a dharna in front of Municipal Corporation office on Saturday. Party leaders demanded the Central government to withdraw the decision to privatise the steel plant and make an announcement in the Parliament in the next 24 hours. Otherwise, the party will intensify the protest from Tirupati.
BJP State Chief Mr Somu Veerraju said, “It was one of the biggest agitations in the history of Andhra Pradesh. MP GVL Narasimha Rao and MLC PVN Madhav will be meeting the Union Minister for Steel. We will further apprise the national leadership of the prevailing sentiment of the people of the State in a meeting in New Delhi on February 14. The State unit is in favour of the public sentiment and will fight for the Vizag steel plant.”