Visakhapatnam: Film actor and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan has expressed solidarity with the striking employees of the public sector Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) and promised to write to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
He was here in the city on Wednesday to convey his condolences to the bereaved family members of DCI employee N. Venkatesh who committed suicide in Vizianagaram on Monday evening.
Extending his support to the agitating DCI employees, Pawan Kalyan said that the PSU had been earning profits since inception in 1976 and it should not be given away on a platter to private parties. He said that he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to stop privatisation of DCI. “This is my first wish to him after I supported the BJP-TDP alliance in 2014 elections,” he said. He also urged YSR Congress Party president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to extend his support to DCI staff.
The film actor met the family members of Venkatesh at the relay hunger strike camp of DCI employees and asked BJP and Congress MPs including Union Ministers from Andhra Pradesh to fight for ex-gratia to the family after the tragic incident. The “downfall of BJP will begin from Visakhapatnam, if the Centre does not shelve its decision for strategic sale of DCI, he warned. He said that he would not hesitate “to call a spade a spade” and added that “if we keep quiet, even Visakhapatnam steel plant would be sold off very shortly,” he remarked.
“I was deeply hurt when I came to know about NDA Government’s decision on 100 per cent disinvestment of DCI and the suicide of Venkatesh, 28, due to fear of losing job,” he said and wondered why the local MPs, MLAs and Ministers were in deep slumber over such a serious issue.
CITU State president Ch. Narsinga Rao said DCI had been ranked among the top 10 dredging companies in the world and the Centre’s plan should be fought tooth and nail. “Vizag is what it is today because of the public sector units like the Visakhapatnam steel plant, the Hindusthan Shipyard Limited and the Vizag port. We should strive to protect them,” he said.