VISAKHAPATNAM: The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) Parirakshana Committee and various other trade union JACs who are protesting against the privatisation of the Steel plant, have further threatened to escalate it over the statement made by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman regarding the privatization of the VSP recently.
The Centre on Monday had reiterated its stance that it will go for 100 per cent disinvestment of Government of India’s shares in Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). Nirmala Sitharaman who was replying to the queries of Vizag MP MVV Satyanarayana and Araku MP Goddeti Madhavi in the Lok Sabha on Monday, said the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs accorded approval in January itself for the disinvestment of government shareholding in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of VSP.
Meanwhile, the Vizag Steel Plant Parirakshana Committee members staged a rasta roko at Kurmannapalem in the city since Monday evening. There have been continued protests over the past 25 days over the decision to privatize the steel plant. As soon as the minister's statement was released on Monday, a large number of steel plant workers gathered at the protest camps to stage a sit-in against her statements.
Demonstrators on the national highway chanted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The protestors blocked traffic leading to a jam on the national highway. Traffic was stalled for over 2 km on both sides of the national highway.Though the police tried speaking to them, the protestors refused to budge.Yalamanchili MLA Ramanamurthy Raju arrived there to speak to them ,but the protesters blocked his convoy for a while and let him off later. The rasta roko which started at 6.30 PM last evening, continued into the night.
Image Source:VSP Collective Twitter Account
VSP Parirakshana committee leaders J Ayodhyaram, D Adinarayana, M Rajasekhar, V Rammohan Kumar and V Srinivas condemned the statements made by the Centre about the VSP privatisation and said that every Andhraite was against this decision. They warned that they would further intensify the protests if the Centre did not retract its decision.