The CPI(M) district committee has condemned the statements of the Centre that it will shut down the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), even as the agitation for its protection is growing by the day.
Describing the statements of Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur as ‘threats’, party district committee secretary K. Lokanadham said, in a statement here on Wednesday, that the threats had ruffled the feathers of Telugus. He called upon all political parties to condemn the adamant attitude of the Centre.
The move of the Union government to privatise PSUs and hand them over to corporates should be condemned by one and all, Mr. Lokanadham said. The YES Bank, a private bank, which was in losses, was nationalised and now the public sector VSP was being privatised though it has assets to the tune of ₹2 lakh crore, the CPI(M) leader said.
He warned that people would teach a lesson to the BJP leaders from the State, if they do not resign from their posts and join the agitation.
The Centre had invested only ₹4,890 crore in the VSP but the plant has contributed ₹44,000 crore in the form of dividends to the Centre, so far, he said. The plant has 22,000 acres of land and modern equipment besides sea and rail connectivity, he added.
The CPI(M) leader recalled that Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had assured trade unions in 2019 that no decision would be taken on privatisation of VSP, without consulting them. But, he cheated the unions and the workers, Mr. Lokanadham said. The CPI(M) leader called upon the working class to be prepared for a showdown with the BJP government.