Will Fight VSP Sale: Jagan
The Chief Minister today told the Vizag Steel Plant workers' unions that the state government would not allow the plant to be privatised.
Hyderabad | 17th February 2021
As protests against the Centre's move to privatise Andhra Pradesh's historic Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) continue to grip the state, Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy today made clear his regime's stand on the issue, and said that his government would fight the decision and would stand by the workers of the plant.
Addressing a Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising 14 trade and workers' unions, Reddy assured the former that the AP government would soon pass a resolution in the state's Assembly against the decision in the upcoming Budget Session meetings, if the Centre did not withdraw, or at least review its decision.
Speaking on the occasion, he reminded the JAC that he had already written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appealing to the leader to review the move to disinvest in the steel plant, and reassured them that he would not allow POSCO, the South Korean steel firm reportedly interested in setting up a plant on the VSP's lands, to enter the state.
"The steel plant is part of our state's history, it is a symbol of the strength of the will of our people. Our government will not, therefore, let the POSCO take the VSP's lands. The Opposition has been saying that I did not speak against the plant's privatisation when I met the firm's representatives. However, this claim is entirely untrue - in my meetings with the POSCO officials, I had asked them to set up their steel plant either in Kadapa, Krishnapatnam or Bhavanapadu," the CM said.
"We have also made several recommendations to the Centre that will help increase the VSP's profitability. I am hopeful that there will be a change in the stand of the union government on the matter soon," he added.
Jagan also highlighted the need to renew the leases of the mines from which the iron ore for the plant used to be sourced, claiming that the plant's profits had started to drop only as a result of the expiry of the leases.
Meanwhile, TDP head and former AP CM Chandrababu Naidu has been lashing out at the Jagan regime regularly, for "failing" to actively resist the Centre's decision. He even asked the current CM to resign if the latter failed to keep the plant from getting privatised.
filed in: Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, Visakhapatnam, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, TDP, Chandrababu Naidu, Protests, Centre