New Delhi: Visakhapatnam steel plant employees and workers on Monday began a two-day protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar here opposing the privatisation of the plant. Talking to media persons on the occasion, YSR Congress Party Rajya Sabha member Vijay Sai Reddy appealed to the Centre to change its stand on the issue.
“Vizag steel plant was achieved after many historic struggles. It began production in 1991 and later emerged as the biggest integrated steel plant in the country. There are 15,000 permanent employees and 17,000 contract workers at the plant which also is providing employment indirectly to 70,000 more people. We should not allow it to be privatised under any circumstances and fight unitedly rising above political lines in response given by the call of
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy,” he stated.
The MP also noted that the steel plant saved many lives even during COVID period and was now earning Rs.200 crore profit every month. Though the BJP government’s policy was to privatise loss-making industries, it was unfair to privatise Vizag steel plant just because it incurred losses for a few years, he observed, demanding that the decision of privatising the plant be revoked.
Meanwhile, CPM leaders on Monday alleged that the Modi government was creating hurdles for the protest dharna although prior permission was obtained from the police. The Telugu people were detained at the Delhi airport and also railway station for hours together. Even accommodation at lodging houses were denied for steel plant workers, they said.