Categories: News/City Updates

General elections: VSP privatisation issue likely to play a key role in Gajuwaka segment

The ongoing agitation against the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) privatisation is likely to be among the key factors that decide the fate of the contesting candidates in the Gajuwaka Assembly constituency.

With several families of the agitating workers staying in the limits of the constituency, where a number of industries are located, the burning issue of the VSP privatisation may tilt the electoral fortunes of the candidates.

Though it has been over 1150 days since the agitation was launched, solution has eluded the problem and the people are up in arms against the BJP-led NDA government at Centre for initiating the privatisation process despite protests.

No party, including the ruling Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) or the opposing Telugu Desam Party (TDP), has come forward to lead the agitation from the front, as both have been soft towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for reasons best known to them – though they have ‘extended support’ to the stir.

Now, with the elections slated for the next month, parties – which did not fight seriously to stall the privatisation process – are coming out with statements allaying the privatisation fears. In a bid to drum up support, parties are trying to placate the angry feelings of the people by promising to strain every nerve to protect the plant.

Fully aware of the fact that a section of Visakhapatnam’s population is ready to show their simmering ire at the BJP in the elections, Andhra Pradesh BJP election in-charge, Siddharth Nath recently made an interesting remark that the VSP would not be privatised. The BJP, an ally of the TDP and the JSP, has made the comment only to placate the angry agitators.

In a bid to convince voters that the TDP-BJP-JSP combine is committed to the protection of the plant, its candidate, Palla Srinivasa Rao, took part in the 1,154th day of the relay hunger-stirke against the VSP privatisation on Wednesday.

The ruling YSRCP is also chanting the plant protection mantra to woo voters in the steel plant area. Party candidate and IT Minister, G Amarnath has said that he will release the manifesto on 17 April 2024, after taking suggestions from the residents of the constituency.

Meanwhile, CPI (M) leader, Jaggunaidu, who has been agitating against the VSP privatisation, is contesting from the Gajuwaka Assembly constituency, and is promising to fight for the cause if elected. His candidature has been confirmed by the party recently.

Apart from the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant privatisation issue, several other factors like unemployment, lack of infrastructure facilities, and pollution are likely to influence voters in the constituency where a larger chunk of the population belongs to the working class.

Read also: Visakhapatnam Steel Plant in a Tight Spot As It Falls Into ₹136 Cr Debt

Stay tuned to Yo! Vizag website and Instagram for more city and news updates.

This article is written by Senior Journalist Lakkoju Nagesh Babu.

This post was last modified on 12/04/2024 12:03 pm

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