CPI national Secretary Dr K Narayana today slammed the union government for its recent decision to privatise Andhra Pradesh's historic Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), and demanded that it withdraw the decision immediately.
He made these remarks while addressing a protest program held by the various disgruntled employees' unions in the state, at the Kurmannapalem gate in Visakhapatnam.
Speaking on the occasion, Narayana said that there was an urgent need to take steps for the protection of the VSP, and alleged that the plant was being privatised only to enable the encroachment of thousands of acres of land in the state.
He urged the state government to issue a GO making it impossible for any industries to sell off the lands that had been allotted to them to prevent such "encroachment".
However, the CPI bigwig also made clear his belief that it would not be enough for the YSR Congress Party regime to pass a resolution in the state Assembly opposing the decision of the Centre, and that the ongoing protests would also need to be intensified.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Minister Avanthi Srinivas and Visakhapatnam North MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who recently tendered his resignation
protesting the Centre's decision, were among the other leaders participating in the demonstrations. They also extended their support to the protesting unions.
The Centre's decision to privatise the plant has sparked massive outrage in the state. The workers of the VSP have been protesting the move for some days now, and have been demanding that the BJP leaders in the state and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan intervene in the matter, and pressurise the Centre to prevent it from implementing the controversial decision.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Anurag Thakur recently made a statement defending the move
, and said that the decision had been taken keeping in mind the suggestions made by the Niti Ayog on the matter.