Week-long Visakhapatnam Steel Plant agitation flame grows fiercer

Visakhapatnam Steel Plant
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 Visakhapatnam Steel Plant 

Highlights

Their slogans continue to reverberate across the Steel City. As the battle to save the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) from the proposed privatisation intensifies, the week-long agitation flame ignites protests, ‘sabhas’, hunger strike camps and other forms.

Visakhapatnam: Their slogans continue to reverberate across the Steel City. As the battle to save the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) from the proposed privatisation intensifies, the week-long agitation flame ignites protests, 'sabhas', hunger strike camps and other forms.

Along with trade unions and political parties, an army of women, students and school-going children are contributing their part to the ongoing agitation.

Apart from demanding the Union government to take back its privatisation proposal, the stress is also on allotting an iron ore mine exclusively for the steel plant to sail through the financial crisis.

In the Gajuwaka constituency, the indefinite hunger strike of former TDP MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao entered the fourth day. At Kurmannapalem, the 'ukku' protest carried out by Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata committee grew fiercer as the trade unions continued their relay hunger strike.

Close to 250 employees from coke ovens and coal chemical plant of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) took part on Saturday.

At both the venues, people from different sections of society are extending their support to the agitation.

In support of the protest, 2,000 students and the staff from Vignan's Institute of Information Technology (Autonomous) flagged off a massive rally.

An army of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) representatives formed a human chain at Kurmannapalem to stop the Centre's plan on disinvesting the VSP.

Expressing their solidarity with the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata committee protestors, Visakhapatnam MP MVV Satyanarayana, TDP leader M Sri Bharath, former Chairperson of state Women's Commission Nannapaneni Rajakumari, MLA Tippala Nagireddi, AP Congress women president P Ramani Kumari and Jana Sena Party leaders joined the agitation. "Already, we submitted a memorandum requesting to stop privatising VSP to Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. We are planning to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi next," says MVV Satyanarayana.

Meanwhile, Nannapaneni Rajakumari made it clear that the concerted battle will continue until the Union government takes back its privatisation proposal.

As a mark of protest, representatives of the Gajuwaka Bar Association are attending the court with a black badge.

Meanwhile, Gandhi statue near GVMC office has become a stage for volunteers and NGO representatives to wave their flags in support of the agitators.

With TDP MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao's hunger strike reaching the fourth day on Saturday, a sense of anxiety prevailed among the TDP cadre and supporters.

After a long gap, the agitation drew Visakhapatnam North MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Tourism Minister M Srinivasa Rao on to a common platform. Brushing aside their 'political rivalry', they mentioned that the fight will not be stopped until the VSP is saved from getting privatised.

With the ruling party, the Opposition and the communist parties coming together, the protest to protect steel plant from getting privatised is all set to become fiercer in the coming days.

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