Visakhapatnam protesters begin 25-hour relay hunger strike
TDP leaders say they will extend support to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy if he puts pressure on Centre to withdraw its decision
Visakhapatnam: Marking the 250th day of relay hunger strike camp at Kurmannapalem, representatives of Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee (VUPPC) and 250 Ukku activists began a 25-hour-long relay hunger strike on Tuesday.
Hundreds of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) employees and trade union members gathered at Kurmannapalem and expressed anguish over the BJP government for its attitude towards privatising the plant.
Vice Chancellor of Centurion University GSN Raju and RINL former director (Operations) KK Rao unveiled the flag of VUPPC and launched the hunger strike.
Addressing the gathering at the camp, GSN Raju said the Central government should reconsider its decision on privatising Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. He recalled the slogan 'Visakha Ukku- Andhrula Hakku' and struck a chord with the protesters.
Member of Parliament MVV Satyanarayana said he had displayed the placard in the Parliament during the sessions against the decision of privatisation of the VSP. He made it clear that he would extend support to the Ukku stir in future.
Gajuwaka MLA T Nagireddy recalled that the State Assembly had sent a unanimous resolution to the Centre opposing the privatisation of the VSP. He assured the trade unions that he was ready to take the stir forward.
Chodavaram MLA Karanam Dharmasri and Payakaraopeta MLA Golla Baburao said they were against 100 per cent disinvestment of VSP and demanded the Union government to withdraw its decision.
TDP former minister Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy and Gajuwaka former MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao clarified that they would extend support to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy if he takes the initiative and put pressure on the Centre to withdraw its proposal on privatising the steel plant.
Former MLAs T Gurumurthy Reddy and Chintalapudi Venkataramaiah, CPI state assistant secretary JV Satyanarayana Murthy and Gajuwaka Jana Sena party in-charge Kona Tatarao extended their support to the agitation.
VUPPC representatives Ch Narasinga Rao, M Rajasekhar and D Adinarayana said they had already set up a committee in Vizianagaram to intensify the movement across the state. They said the committee would hold meetings in all the 13 districts.