Unswerving in its resolve against the Central Government’s decision to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), Member of Parliament and YSRCP National General Secretary V Vijayasai Reddy said that his party would raise the issue during the monsoon session of Parliament. Apart from standing up against the decision, the YSRCP party is apparently also going to stage protests against it in New Delhi.
Speaking on the issue, MP Vijayasai Reddy said, “Protests will be staged inside the Parliament and in New Delhi. We have spoken to all trade union leaders irrespective of party affiliations, and the employees of the VSP. All will be in New Delhi during the Parliament Session and a two-day protest will be staged at the Jantar Mantar.” He also said that privatising a loss-making unit is not the solution and added, “We will fix appointments with Union Minister for Steel Ram Chandra Prasad Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. We, along with the trade union leaders and the leaders of the VSP Parirakshana committee, will apprise them of the situation.”
Buoyant about the revival of VSP, Mr. Reddy reiterated that the steel plant could be turned into a profitable Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). He said that mines from Chhattisgarh or Bihar need not be allocated, and stressed the point that there is enough iron ore reserve in Salur of Vizianagaram District.
MP Vijayasai Reddy also envisioned a merger plan for VSP to bow out of the debt-laden business. A merger of the VSP with NMDC or SAIL, would be proposed in the Parliament. Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao said a meeting was held with the union leaders and a future action plan of the aforementioned merger was discussed. Trade union leaders including Ch. Adinarayana (AITUC), Mantri Rajsekhar (INTUC) and Ayodhya Ram (CITU) said they would join the protest to be organised by YSRCP on the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant privatisation in New Delhi.
Earlier in March 2021, YSRCP MPs also staged a walk-out during a discussion on the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha.