Visakhapatnam: AP TD president and former minister and Kinjarapu Atchannaidu asserted that the shifting of the executive capital to the port city was not aimed at the development of the city but was part of a bigger conspiracy to “loot” industries including Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) and public assets.
Addressing the TD hunger strike camp at the party office in Gajuwaka on Friday, Atchannaidu said the properties of the VSP were valued at over Rs 3 lakh crore in the open market. The Chief Minister expected that locating the capital in Vizag would further jack up the prices of the lands, after which he could take over the plant after its privatisation.
“Mere writing a letter to the Prime Minister is not enough. The Chief Minister should clarify to the public whether or not he had met and held discussions with the representatives of Posco (a South Korean company),” Atchannaidu said.
He reminded that it was then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy who prevented the allotment of Obulapuram mines to the steel plant in 2004. The mines could have prevented the losses that VSP is facing, he added.
Another former minister and TD politburo member, Ch Ayyanna Patrudu, alleged that the Chief Minister and Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaysai Reddy were aware of the Posco move and it was former chief secretary Neelam Sahney who led a delegation to New Delhi to meet central leaders on the privatisation.
He said the YSRC government has been eying maritime cities and was planning to take over Krishnapatnam and Kakinada ports as well as the Vizag Steel Plant.
Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Leader of the House in the Legislative Council, said no new industry had come to the state during the last 21 months. He said that the YCRC's failures had made it necessary for the people to start another agitation for protecting the VSP. Other leaders said the people's representatives, employees and the general public should fight a united struggle. The workers should not fall in the trap of the ministers and YSRC MLAs as they were the ones responsible for the present plight of VSP.