Visakhapatnam : Former minister and TDP MLA Ghanta Srinivasa Rao has announced his decision to resign from Assembly in protest against the Centre’s decision to privatize the steel plant. A lot of heat has been generated by Centre’s decision to disinvest one hundred percent in Vizag Steel Plant. There has been a lot of pressure on the local politicians of all hues since it was a sentimental issue and the workers had already launched an agitation demanding to withdraw the decision.
Ghanta Srinivasa Rao, who has not been very comfortable in the TDP was waiting for an opportunity to quit the party. He was rumoured to have decided to join the ruling YSRCP but was stalled by local minister Avanti Srinivas who is in charge of Tourism. Even Satyanarayana, local MP from YSRCP, announced on Friday that he is prepared to quit if necessary to safeguard the interests of the people of Vizag and rest of the State.
The Steel Plant, a result of a prolonged movement in which 32 persons were martyred, and is a prestigious industry for Andhras. The people of Andhra Pradesh are justly proud of the factory which is self reliant by all means except that it has no iron ore mines like the private steel plants owned by Tatas and Jindals. It is strange that the successive governments in the Centre did not deem it necessary to allocate iron ore mines to the public sector plant in Vizag which was forced to import the ore at an exorbitant cost leading to losses. The Vizag plant has captive power plant and oxygen plant for the furnace. If only it had a dedicated iron ore mine, it would have earned profits without a doubt. It has become a practice for the governments to starve the industries of the critical inputs thus causing losses and then privatise showing the losses as the only reason.
The workers and officers of the Steel Plant had mounted a movement on Friday at the Gandhi statue near the factory. It is bound to gather momentum and snowbqall into a big agitation if the union government were to insist on implementing its decision.
Ghant Srinivasa Rao has the credit of being the first legislator to resign for the cause of protecting the steel plant.