Former Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao resigns


Stepping up the heat on the ongoing agitation against the proposed strategic sale of RINL, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the former Minister in TDP government and MLA of Visakhapatnam (North) Constituency Ganta Srinivasa Rao has resigned as MLA, here on Saturday.

Speaking to the media, he said he had sent his resignation letter to the Speaker of Legislative Assembly, asking him to accept it. He said he had informally sent the letter and would later send the resignation in the prescribed format to the Speaker.

Mr. Srinivas said he would form a non-political joint action committee to fight against the proposed privatisation and would not allow it to happen. He criticised the Union government for taking a decision to sell VSP, by terming it as a loss making unit.

He said that VSP was making losses owing to non-availability of captive mines. “If VSP is allotted mines, then the cost per tonne of production would come down by ₹5,000. A review on why it is making losses is also necessary, before taking such a decision,” he said.

Mr. Srinivas pointed out that when he was MP, a similar situation had risen and that time he had led a delegation to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the proposal was turned down. “The Union government had even sanctioned ₹1,000 crore for the plant’s restructuring,” he said. “This is my first step towards the protest and I suggest that every leader should resign and join the protest,” he said.

Mr. Srinivas said Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy should now take up the initiative and lead the protest in New Delhi.

He cautioned that VSP was established after a sustained agitation under the name ‘Visakha Ukku- Andhralu Hakku’ and 32 people had lost their lives. People from all walks of life should join the protest and take it to the level of the ongoing farmers agitation in New Delhi or the Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu. “It should no longer be an agitation led by the employees or trade unions, but a people’s agitation, as VSP is synonymous with the city’s development. Even the name Ukkunagaram had come from VSP, he said.

He also pointed out that all recommendations made by Niti Aayog need not be implemented.

On his resignation, he said he had held consultations with TDP leaders in the city and district first and later spoke to the party higher ups, who welcomed his decision.

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