Steel bandh evokes partial response in Tirupati

SFI students union leaders staging a protest agasinst privatisation of Visakha Steel Plant, at SV Junior College in Tirupati on Friday
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SFI students union leaders staging a protest agasinst privatisation of Visakha Steel Plant, at SV Junior College in Tirupati on Friday

Highlights

Tirupati/Chittoor: The bandh call given by all-party Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Samiti against privatisation of Vizag steel plant evoked partial respons...

Tirupati/Chittoor: The bandh call given by all-party Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Samiti against privatisation of Vizag steel plant evoked partial response in the pilgrim city on Friday.

Barring BJP, all other political parties and people's organisations, including the ruling party, called for the bandh in protest against Central government's moves to privatise Vizag steel factory.

However, political parties' involvement was not seen in implementing bandh in Tirupati as they were involved in electioneering for the upcoming municipal corporation elections. Left parties have organised a rally from the RTC bus stand in which a few party workers took part. A few Congress workers also took part.

As the ruling party supported the bandh call, RTC buses were confined to the depots till afternoon. Passengers have faced problems as their journey plans got disturbed. About 1,200 bus services were not operated from 14 depots in the district. However, Tirumala buses have been exempted from the bandh following which 200 services were operated.

Banks and other government offices functioned normally. All business establishments remained open since morning though some shops have closed their shutters for a brief while. While some educational institutions have been closed voluntarily others have functioned.

Political parties have been busy in electioneering for municipal corporation elections and spared no time for the steel bandh. Leaders of Left parties, including Kandarapu Murali, Kumar Reddy, Viswanath, Hemalatha and others participated in the demonstrations. They raised slogans against the privatisation of Vizag steel plant.

Speaking on the occasion, Rythu Sangham district president Kumar Reddy said that the sacrifices of 32 people for the Vizag steel plant should not go in vain. He demanded the government to allot captive mines for the steel plant to change its fortunes and withdraw the privatisation move.

SFI also held protests at educational institutions. Its leaders Prasanna, Nagaraju and others condemned the central government's steps to privatise the steel plant without taking into consideration the sentiments of the Telugu people.

Meanwhile in Chittoor, the Left parties and labour unions staged bandh against the Centre's move for privatising Visakhapatnam Steel Plant received partial response in Chittoor on Friday.

Members from CPI, CPM, AITUC, CITU and other labour unions staged dharna at Gandhi statue raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Addressing the gathering, CITU district general secretary P Chaithanaya alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was inclined to privatise all the public sector units in a phased manner.

He said 32 persons sacrificied their lives for the cause of Visakha Steel Plant. AITUC leader Ganapathi, STU leader Ghanata Mohan, CPM leader Venkataiah, CPI leader Nagarajan and others spoke. As part of bandh, all private and government schools, colleges and educational institutions remained closed.

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