Cycle rally taken out from Vijayawada to Vizag to oppose move to privatise steel plant
A cycle rally, led by Bunga Sanjay Madiga, founder-president of Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS), reached the venue of the Steel Plant Arch at Kurmannapalem, where the employees of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) have been continuing their relay hunger strike for the past 73 days, opposing its privatisation, on Sunday.
Mr. Sanjay, along with 30 supporters, started the cycle rally from Tummalapalli Kala Kshetram in Vijayawada on April 17 and came through Hanuman Junction, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Tanuku, Ravulapalem, Mandapeta, Ramachandrapuram, Kakinada, Pithapuram, Kattipudi, Tuni, Payakaraopeta, Yelamanchili and Anakapalle.
The participants in the cycle rally created awareness among people en route on the policies of the Centre to divest 100% stake in the VSP and the need to oppose them. Mr. Sanjay alleged that the Centre was planning privatisation of public sector units (PSUs) with the idea of doing away with reservations. He said that if there were no PSUs in the country, the very existence of social backward classes would be at stake. The BJP government has taken the route of privatisation as lifting of reservations would result in a backlash from the public, Mr. Sanjay alleged. He said it was the collective responsibility of all sections to protect the public sector.
Outsourcing employees JAC chairman A.V. Nageswara Rao said that unemployed youth were being appointed on ‘contract basis’ or ‘outsourcing’ and were treated as slaves. Now, privatisation would deprive that also and put them at the mercy of the corporate groups, he alleged.
State MRPS working president T.M. Ramesh, leaders Kandukuri Raju, Tatapudi Veerraju and Mortha Tata Rao were among those who participated in the cycle rally.
Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee chairmen D. Adinarayana and Mantri Rajasekhar, co-convener K. Satyanarayana, members Y.T. Das, Ganapathi Reddy and S. Varasala Srinivas commended the participants of the cycle rally for their support to protest against the privatisation of the VSP.
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