Telangana IT Minister and TRS Working President KTR had left a puzzle at the political leaders of Andhra Pradesh by throwing a trump card during the campaign in the just concluded MLC graduate elections announcing that he would extend support to the agitation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant workers. The Telangana leader also announced that he would visit Visakhapatnam and participate in the movement against the privatization of the steel plant. Will he visit Visakhapatnam to extend his solidarity to the agitating steel plant workers? Or is it just a poll gimmick to lure the voters of Andhra settlers in the MLC elections?
Whatever may be the reason, the TRS party clinched the victory and its candidates S Vani Devi secured considerable votes from Andhra settlers in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts. Though the Telangana Congress and BJP leaders had lashed out at KTR stating it was a “poll gimmick”, KTR’s statement, however, was welcomed by Andhra leaders and the striking steel plant employees. Ganta Srinivas, a former minister from Visakhapatnam, who had earlier thanked Minister KTR for supporting their movement, informed that KTR could come to Visakhapatnam only after the ongoing Assembly sessions.
He told this media persons after he met AP Speaker Tammineni Sitaram recently. KTR has some reservations to visit Vizag since his father and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has hinted in the Assembly that his government would not go into coercion method with the Centre stating that the legislature does not have the power to block central laws or to pass laws in the Parliament. Considering KCR’s remarks, KTR may not fulfill his promise to visit Vizag in support of steel plant employees. It seems KTR didn’t give any clarification on his visit to Visakhapatnam to Ganta Srinivasa Rao who met him recently.
The employees of the steel plant, who were on the warpath since the announcement of privatization, have lost all hopes as the Centre was repeatedly saying that disinvesting the Centre’s stake in the RINL would not be stopped. They wanted to exert pressure despite the lack of support from the political parties at the behest of the Centre and kept high expectations over KTR’s visit. Now, all hopes of the employees to retain the steel plant in the government sector have been shattered.