CPI National Secretary Narayana appeals to V-P to voice his concern against privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant

The CPI leader visited the relay hunger strike being organised by steel workers for the past 147 days at the Steel Plant arch at Kurmannapalem, in Visakhapatnam, on Friday.

CPI National Secretary K. Narayana has appealed to Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who had participated in the agitation for establishment of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), during his student days, to voice his concern against privatisation of VSP.

The CPI leader visited the relay hunger strike being organised by steel workers, on the banner of Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee, for the past 147 days at the Steel Plant arch at Kurmannapalem, in Visakhapatnam, on Friday.

Mr. Narayana recalled that Mr. Venkaiah Naidu had followed the late Tenneti Viswanadham, who had led the agitation in those days. It was now Mr. Venkaiah Naidu’s turn to do his bit for VSP.

The CPI leader also called upon BJP leader Kambhampati Haribabu to turn down the recent offer given by the Centre, appointing him as the Governor of Mizoram, till the Modi government withdrew its decision to privatise VSP. He opined that Mr. Haribabu, who was elected MP by the people of Visakhapatnam in the past, should not betray their trust, but exert pressure on the Centre to revoke its decision.

The veteran CPI leader recalled the struggle for VSP and how it had spread to all the 23 districts of combined AP in those days. Referring to the statements of the Centre on ‘limited governance’ and ‘more service’, he alleged that instead of greater service, Public Service Undertakings were being closed to benefit the corporate groups.

Expressing doubts on the commitment of the YSR Congress Government in saving VSP from privatisation, Mr. Narayana said that Rajya Sabha Member and YSRCP general secretary V. Vijaya Sai Reddy, who had promised to lead the all-party trade unions in Delhi had postponed it at the eleventh hour. Now they (YSRCP leaders) say that a resolution against privatisation of VSP was passed in the Assembly and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had written to the Prime Minister to reconsider the decision. The CPI leader felt that only direct action in Delhi, led by the Chief Minister himself, could make the Centre change its mind.

Referring to the YSR Congress government’s decision to make Visakhapatnam as executive capital of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Narayana said that there was no use of making it the capital without retaining VSP in the public sector. Only a struggle in Delhi could save the Steel plant, Mr. Narayana said and added that he was ready to mobilise the leaders of various parties for the agitation in Delhi.

CPI State assistant secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy was present.

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