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Steel plant employees rally against privatisation

Visakhapatnam: Beach Road in the city on Sunday was reverberated with the slogan ‘Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku’ as hundreds of people participated in ‘Maha Kavatu’ organised by the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee against privatisation of the steel plant.

Even after 53 days, the steel plant agitation is gaining further momentum as more and more people are extending support to it. A lot of activity was witnessed at the relay hunger strike camps at Kurmannapalem Junction and the Gandhi statue at the GVMC office.

The Beach Road was a chock-a-block as the steel plant employees and their family members and leaders of various political parties participated in ‘Maha Kavatu’, which began from the NTR statue and concluded at the YSR Statue. The rallyists raised slogans denouncing the Narendra Modi government’s move to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

Enthusiasm was palpable that even children were seen running with their mothers during the rally. Dubbed as preparatory rally for the proposed April 18 ‘Maha Sabha’, where several farmer leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, and political leaders, will participate, evoked a good response from people apart from VSP employees.Addressing a meeting, Porata Committee chairman J Ayodhya Ram and INTUC national general secretary Sanjay Singh said the Modi government was selling all PSUs.

“All sections of people, including workers, should fight unitedly against the privatisation plans of the Modi government,’’ they said. Deputy Mayor Giyyani Sridhar said the first council meeting of the GVMC will adopt a unanimous resolution against the privatisation of the steel plant and send it to the Centre.
CPM corporator Ganga Rao said the steel plant is the pride and jewel of the city and it is everyone’s responsibility to protect it.a

Aam Aadmi Party city incharge Sheetal said they were sending daily reports of the agitation to the party headquarters to keep it abreast with the ongoing stir against the steel plant privatisation. She said her party members were raising the steel plant issue in Parliament. The Aam Aadmi Party will join the agitation in a big way soon, she said.

Porata Committee chairmen D Adinarayana and Mantri Raja Sekhar said they were ready for any sacrifice to save the steel plant from privatisation. They thanked all the employees for contributing to the best performance of the steel plant even as participating in the agitation at Kurmannapalem Junction.

Earlier in the day, the Defence Coordination Committee members undertook a padayatra protesting against privatisation of the steel plant and other PSUs, including defence sector. The padayatra began from the industrial estate and culminated at the Gandhi statue. Committee coordinator Reddi Venkata Rao said the Modi government was not only privatising profit making PSUs but also planning to hand over the key defence sector to multinational companies.