Retired IPS officer V V Lakshminarayana today filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging the decision of the BJP-led Centre to privatise the state's historic Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).
In his petition, Lakshminarayana reportedly urged the court to issue a stay order on the Centre's controversial decision, saying that it was still possible to revive the VSP economically. He even highlighted various alternatives through which the plant's profit margins could be hiked - what he made abundantly clear in his petition was his belief that disinvesting from the VSP was not at all the answer to its pecuniary issues.
The former IPS official also flayed the Centre for allegedly promoting private corporate interests at the cost of the interests of the people of India.
His decision to file the PIL is barely a surprise - he has stood by the workers of the plant ever since they launched a massive anti-privatisation agitation
in AP. In fact, Lakshminarayana has even sent the Centre proposals on how to make the VSP profitable once more.
The grounds on which he is opposing the Centre's privatisation decision are very similar to those outlined by Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy in his letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Jagan had written a letter
, his second on the matter, to the PM earlier this month. In it, he had reportedly sought an appointment with Modi saying that he would bring an all-party delegation to New Delhi to discuss, in detail, the alternatives to privatising the plant. The CM had also said that he would bring the representatives of the workers' unions along with representatives from all the parties so that the opinions of all the stakeholders could be presented to the PM.