TDP leaders take aim at govt. over steel plant

Former TDP MLA Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy came down heavily on Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for remaining mum over the issue of the proposed privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), even as politicians cutting across party lines were criticising the move.

Addressing a press conference in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, Mr. Satyanarayana said the steel plant was established after a prolonged struggle by the people of Andhra Pradesh, in the course of which 30 people had lost their lives. โ€œThe Chief Minister seems to be utterly indifferent to the sentiments and aspirations of the people of the State,โ€ he said.

Mr. Satyanarayana recalled that there were attempts to take up disinvestment of the plant but the TDP leadership and the unions together represented to the Union Government and stalled the move while N.T. Rama Rao was Chief Minister, and later when N. Chandrababu Naidu was in power. Even the local BJP leaders in both the Telugu States are vocally opposing the move of the Centre. However, the A.P. Chief Minister has not yet spelt out his stand despite severe agitations in the city, he remarked.

The TDP leader wondered whether Mr. Jagan was aware of the history of VSP. โ€œThe Chief Minister seems to be afraid of the Centre because of the cases against him and therefore he is not speaking out on the issue,โ€ he said, and sought to know what the YSRCP MPs were doing in Parliament.

Meanwhile, TDP Mahila president V. Anitha blasted the State government for its indifference on the burning issue and said the government is ruining Visakhapatnam city. The steel plant, pride of Vizag and Andhra Pradesh, is in danger of falling into private hands and therefore the MPs and MLAs of the ruling party should immediately resign as a mark of protest, she demanded.

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