KTR extends support to protests against Vizag steel plant privatization

Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) working party president and the state’s IT minister KT Rama Rao on Wednesday extended solidarity to the ongoing agitations against the Centre’s decision to privatize the neighboring state’s Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), popularly called Vizag steel plant. 

He accused that the BJP-led government “is even capable of mulling privatization of the state governments.”

Speaking at a graduate MLC election campaign meet here, KTR noted that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014 assures setting up an integrated steel plant at Bayyaram in Telangana, through the Steel Authority of India Limited.

“But what is the Centre up to today? They are selling off the steel plant, which Andhra brethren achieved decades ago with a war cry–Vishaka Ukku, Andhrula Hakku (Vizag’s steel is Andhra’s right),” he said.

“I am assuring our moral support to the thousands of workers of Vizag steel plant who are protesting against its privatization by the Centre. If necessary, with the permission of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, we will visit Visakhapatnam to extend our physical support,” the IT minister said.

He added that if Telangana turns blind eye to the Vizag steel plant’s problem today, they would come after Telangana’s PSUs like BHEL, Singareni Collieries.

Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Committee leaders acknowledged the support being extended from Telangana to their agitation. They said they had earlier sought the support of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao as the steel plant was set up following agitations and sacrifices made by the people of united Andhra Pradesh.

They said a majority of the 66 MLAs, who had resigned during the ‘Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku’ agitation, were from the Telangana region.