Visakhapatnam: JSP's silence over Ukku stir raises eyebrows

JSP members staging a protest against privatisation of VSP near GVMC Gandhi statue in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday

JSP members staging a protest against privatisation of VSP near GVMC Gandhi statue in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday


  • With the alliance of BJP-JSP, protesters feel JSP will not oppose the Centre
  • Even though state leadership distances itself from the stir, local leaders are extending their support
  • MP candidate who contested on JSP’s ticket has filed a PIL in High Court against the disinvestment of VSP

Visakhapatnam: Despite the Ukku stir getting intensified both in Visakhapatnam and Delhi, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan's silence over the burning issue disappoints cross section of people, more so the protesters.

While the local leadership is extending support to the movement, the state leadership distances itself from the stir.

Apparently, Jana Sena Party's (JSP) stance on the strategic sale of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) raises eyebrows. Given the silence maintained by the party's chief Pawan Kalyan, protesters express anguish over the attitude of the 'Vakeel Saab'. Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) falls under the ambit of Gajuwaka constituency. Most voters here are the employees of the plant.

In 2019 general elections, Pawan Kalyan contested from the same constituency and secured the second place by garnering 63,000 votes next to the YSRCP aspirant TippalaNagireddy who won in the elections. Both during the election campaigning and in the manifesto, the JSP came up with several points pertaining to the steel plant, including the ones focussing on the issue of rehabilitation cards for VSP displaced families and their job recruitment.

Even as the trade union representatives and VSP employees continue to stage a protest for the past 173 days, the JSP chief refrained himself from the dharna. Though Pawan Kalyan had met the cabinet ministers to broach the withdrawal of the strategic sale of the steel plant in the beginning of the Ukku stir, subsequently, he withdrew himself from themovement for reasons best known to him. Given the BJP-JSP alliance, the protesters are under the impression that the JSP will not take any decision against the Centre. However, when it comes to Visakhapatnam, JSP leaders are extending support to the Ukku stir.

But if Pawan Kalyan, who has a massive following, could step forward, the Ukku movement would have been further intensified. However, his direct involvement for the agitation appears to be negligible.Even the MP candidate, who contested from JSP ticket and lost, VV Lakshminarayana has filed a PIL in Andhra Pradesh High Court against the privatisation of steel plant.

At a time when the Ukku stir is going through a crucial phase, JSP's support would have played a key role in mounting pressure on the Union government. With its absence, not many are happy with the distance maintained by the JSP chief.

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