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Parties likely to focus on Ukku stir to gain political edge

A view of GVMC office in Visakhapatnam
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 A view of GVMC office in Visakhapatnam

Highlights

  • However, Chukka Prasad Reddy, YSRCP aspirant at the 90th ward, says protecting VSP is safeguarding Andhra people’s pride and honour which should go beyond political affiliations
  • Political parties should brush aside their selfish motives and fight to save VSP from privatisation, says J V Satyanarayana Murthy, CPI State assistant secretary

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Visakhapatnam: With State Election Commissioner (SEC) releasing the Andhra Pradesh municipal elections – 2021 schedule, 'Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku' stir is likely to impact the political parties.

Since February 6, the employees of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), political party leaders, trade union representatives, students and volunteers have been taking the agitation forward in various avatars such as protests, rallies, public meetings and hunger strike.

Eventually, 'Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku' brought the ruling party as well as the Opposition together to fight for a common cause which they have not indulged in so far.

Now, with the SEC waving a green flag for the municipal polls on March 10, there is a larger scope for the political parties to make use of the stir for political gains.

Though the political parties are fighting against the privatisation of VSP, each of them might convert this into a convenient platform to draw the attention of the voters from now to gain mileage. "There is a need to save VSP beyond political aspirations. If parties try to gain political mileage through the ongoing VSP stir, it is as good as cheating our own family. Protecting VSP is safeguarding Andhra people's pride and honour which should go beyond political affiliations," opines Chukka Prasad Reddy, YSRCP aspirant at the 90th ward.

With the announcement of Visakhapatnam as executive capital, the GVMC election is going to play a crucial role for the political parties, more so for the ruling party as well as the Opposition. "Despite the political leaders presenting the Ukku stir as a common fight, there is a higher chance of gaining political edge through the movement," says P Rama Rao, a social activist.

The election code came into force from Monday. Now, even to carry out protests, permission has to be sought. Owing to this, the Ukku agitation may continue on a low key till the polls conclude. "However, trade unions should take VSP agitation forward. Political parties should brush aside their selfish motives and fight to save VSP from privatisation. Otherwise, they will have to be prepared for the loss," says J V Satyanarayana Murthy, CPI State assistant secretary.

As soon as the SEC released the municipal polls schedule, aspirants commenced their campaign. Though each political party competes in the elections, people opine that they should put up a collective battle to protect steel plant from handing it over to the private management.

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