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The decision to privatize a steel plant in India sparks massive protests

Asia

Workers, civil society and political parties in Vishakhapatnam are gripped by protests against the privatization of a metallurgical plant built by the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

The decision to privatize a steel plant in India sparks massive protests

In India, mass protests began against the privatization of a metallurgical plant in Visakhapatnam. Factory workers and members of the local trade union took to the streets to protest against the government's decision.

On Wednesday, the Indian government announced a 100% strategic divestiture in a steel plant that employs about 65,000 workers.

“This is the worst decision made by the Modi government. Making a 100% strategic sale of a steel mill is not good. Andhra Pradesh has developed thanks to the Visakhapatnam Steel plant, ”said Narsing Rao, leader of the Communist Party of India (KPI) at the protest.

“Responsibility for the suspension of the privatization of the metallurgical plant lies with the Chief Minister. Political divisions aside, intellectuals, trade unions and political parties must unite and fight against privatization. They must be prepared to submit their resignation if necessary and be prepared for any sacrifice. If the protest happens on such a large scale, then I am confident that we will be able to slow down the privatization process, ”said senior local government official Ganta Srinivasa Rao.

He said that the government's decision under the leadership of Narendra Modi to privatize the steel plant shocked not only the residents of Visakhapatnam, but also all Telugu (the main population of Andhra Pradesh). “It is regrettable to see the government privatize a steel plant, citing minor losses,” Ganta said.

Visakhapatnam Steel Works (Telugu: విశాఖ ఉక్కు కర్మాగారం) is an integrated steelmaker in Vishakhapatnam, India, built using German and Soviet technology. The third largest metallurgical plant in India, built with the assistance of the Soviet Union.

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