Centurion University Vice-Chancellor Prof GSN Raju launched the signature campaign against VSP privatization at Gandhi statue near the GVMC office in Visakhapatnam on Monday. Various trade unions and Praja Sanghala JAC organized the campaign. The objective is to collect 10 lakh signatures opposing the privatization of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).
Addressing the protestors, he said public sector undertakings (PSUs) are national assets and they belong to the people and their privatization is not correct. He congratulated the JAC for launching the signature campaign so that more people could be involved in the agitation. Later, Prof Raju paid floral tributes on the 114th birth anniversary of Dalit leader Babu Jagjivan Ram on the occasion.
Inaugurating the fourth day of the relay hunger strike camp of the JAC, Sahiti Sravanti president Telakapalli Ravi said ‘Atma Nirbhar’ does not mean selling government assets. Lauding the ukku agitation, he said “We stand for sustained agitation for saving the steel plant. He said VSP employees have become role models since they not only improved steel production capacity but also earned profits for the plant while agitating against the centre’s move for privatizing VSP.
Ravi said the BJP-led NDA government at the centre is under the impression that with its brute strength in Parliament it can get away with anything. He said the protest programmes against privatization will augur well for the state. IFTU leader Prasad called upon workers to intensify the agitation with the support of the people. AITUC leaders Moulali, INTUC Leader K Eswara Rao, JAC vice-chairperson Padala Ramana and others present. Gopalapatnam mutha workers participated in Monday’s relay hunger strike.
Meanwhile, the relay hunger strike launched by Visakha Ukku Parirakshna Committee at Kurmannapalem Junction entered the 53rd consecutive day on Monday. A large number of workers and officials from the blast furnace participated in the camp. Addressing the camp committee, chairperson D Adinarayana said the agitation launched by them was getting support not only from people of the city but also from other states. He said, “We will continue the agitation till the centre backtracks on its decision to privatise the steel plant.”