Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's take creates a bend in steel stir

Effigies of Prime Minister and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh being burnt as Ukku stir intensifies in Visakhapatnam
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Effigies of Prime Minister and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh being burnt as Ukku stir intensifies in Visakhapatnam

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Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam is on the boil for the past 24 hours following the statement of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying that priv...

Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam is on the boil for the past 24 hours following the statement of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying that privatisation of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) was inevitable. With this the Ukku stir took a new turn.

Tension prevailed as scores of protesters took to streets as they squatted on the National Highway at Kurmannapalem, expressing their ire against the Centre's decision, shouting slogans since Monday night.

For hours, traffic came to a grinding halt in and around Kurmannapalem junction as protestors burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. They alleged that the State Government was hand-in-glove with the Central government in striking a deal with the private sector.

"So far, no public representative has come forward to address us or give any sort of assurance that the privatisation move will be withdrawn. Who is selling our plant and who is buying it?" some of the agitators questioned.

Expressing their wrath, the trade union representatives threw footwear at the image of the Prime Minister. On Tuesday morning, 'Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku' slogan grew louder as protesters picketed the administrative building of the RINL and blocked the vehicles of the RINL personnel from marching forward.

RIML director (Finance) V V Venu Gopal Rao's car was blocked on the road. He sought police security as the agitators gheraoed him and tried to stop him from reaching his office even by foot.

Trade unions and political parties mentioned that the stir will be taken up to the national-level until the Centre withdraws its privatisation proposal.

On the other hand Vizag North MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao called for concerted efforts and en masse resignations of all MLAs and MPs. Interestingly, the state BJP and Jana Sena activists were not seen anywhere in the agitation.

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