Won’t allow privatisation of VSP at any cost: CPI(M)

Reasons cited for decision are absurd, says P. Madhu

CPI(M) State secretary P. Madhu said that the decision of the Centre to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) will not be allowed at any cost.

Addressing a massive meeting of VSP workers and trade unions at Kurmannapalem here on Thursday, Mr. Madhu said that the Central government, after assuming power for the second consecutive time, has embarked on a privatisation mission.

He alleged that Adani was sanctioned 12 coal mines and airports and the labour codes were brought out to suppress the rights of employees. The Farm Bills were meant to corporatise agriculture and cause problems to farmers, he alleged.

Ridiculing the reasons cited by the Centre to privatise VSP as absurd, the CPI(M) leader wondered what then was the reason to privatise Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), which he said was among the most profitable public sector insurance companies in the world.

Mr. Madhu warned of a State-wide bandh and protests if the Centre failed to revoke its decision. He called upon the people of the State to be prepared for any sacrifice to save the steel plant, which was achieved after innumerable struggles and sacrifices.

He explained that the allocation of captive mines was the only way out to put VSP on the road to profits, but not sale of surplus lands of the plant. He alleged that the Centre has written off the loans taken by Essar Steels from public sector banks to the tune of ₹50,000 crore.

United stand

CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna expressed happiness that all parties were united in the agitation against privatisation of VSP. He alleged that the Centre has cheated Andhra Pradesh by failing to implement the promises made in the A.P. Reorganisation Act, 2014, and now it has decided to privatise VSP.

Former Minister Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy called for a united struggle by all parties by setting aside ideological differences. He said that many of the displaced persons were yet to get R-cards. Jana Sena Party (JSP) leader Sivasankar said that JSP chief Pawan Kalyan had clearly articulated the sentiments of the people of the State on VSP.

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