Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao said that it is very unfortunate that the Centre has announced privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) without consulting the State government or MPs from the State. Terming it a ‘unilateral decision’ by the Centre, he said YSR Congress Party would fight against it till the Centre withdrew it.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that the BJP failed to fulfil the assurances given during bifurcation of the State. Starting with non-release of funds for the Polavaram project, the capital city and funds for operationalisation of the new railway zone, the BJP has shown sheer negligence and ‘step-motherly’ treatment towards the State, he alleged. The Minister asked the BJP leaders, whether they were of the view that people from the State do not belong to the country.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that one lakh people, either directly and indirectly, were dependant on the VSP. He also recalled the agitation launched to achieve the steel plant and 32 persons sacrificing their lives in it. He described the VSP as a symbol of pride for people of Visakhapatnam and Andhra Pradesh.
He said that the YSRCP was totally opposed to the move of the Centre. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had written a letter to the Prime Minister on the issue, he said.
“Local BJP leaders and Jana Sena Party chief K. Pawan Kalyan should prevail upon the Centre to withdraw its decision,” he added.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao also came down heavily against BJP leader Sujana Chowdary for his comments favouring the Centre’s decision.
Gajuwaka MLA T. Nagi Reddy recalled the Visakha Ukku Andhra Hakkulu agitation. He said that the Centre must think of bringing the VSP out of the red instead of privatising it.
Visakhapatnam MP M.V.V. Satyanarayana was among those present.