Protests continued for the second day against the Union government’s proposed move to privatise Vizag Steel Plant (VSP), here in Visakhapatnam.
Members from various Left parties, people’s organisations and unions staged a massive rasto-roko at Maddilapalem junction on Saturday demanding that the Centre withdraw its proposal immediately.
Raising slogans against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, the protesters staged an agitation near Maddilapalem bus-stop. With slogans of ‘Visakha Ukku Andhrulu Hakku’, the protesters alleged that the BJP government favoured private companies. The agitators criticised BJP leader Sujana Chowdary, who supported the Centre’s move. Secretary of CPI (M), Greater Visakha City Committee B. Ganga Rao dared Mr. Chowdary to come to Vizag and express his opinion.
The protesters said the YSRCP and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) should not just announce their opinions, but should take part in the protests. They said Jana Sena Party chief K. Pawan Kalyan should severe his alliance with BJP and should join their agitation.
Meanwhile, a number of protesters who were trying to block the national highway were detained by the police.
Condemning the police action, the members said that instead of supporting their cause, the State fovernment was “illegally” arresting them. They said that the YSRCP should announce that it was against the Centre’s decision to privatise VSP. The State government should pass a resolution in the Assembly in this regard and also oppose the move in Parliament, the members stated.
Progressive Organisation for Women (POW) members M. Lakshmi and A. Vimala said that not just farmers, the BJP was against labourers, small scale businessmen and middle-class people, and wais only favorable to corporate gaints. She said that VSP was achieved by the people after a long agitation in the early 1970s. The government’s decision was just to benefit the private companies and it should be opposed by all the people, she said.
Meanwhile the protesters came down heavily against the Union government over the farm laws. Extending support to the farmers who have been staging agitation at Delhi borders, AITUC leader M Pydiraju said that the government was putting all efforts to stop the farmer’s agitation, but in vain. He criticised the BJP government for arranging barricades and spikes on roads at Delhi border. Our protests will continue supporting farmers, he added.