Centre enacts a new drama over Vizag steel plant privatisation: Minister KTR

Taking strong exception to the statements made by union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste over the Vizag Steel Plant privatisation, IT & Industries minister K T Rama Rao has asked the BJP government to stop hoodwinking people and stop acting over smart.

The union minister came up with two different statements in one day. In the morning he said there was no plan to privatise the Vizag steel plant and they were contemplating to strengthening the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL). In the evening, he said the issue of privatisation of the Vizag steel plant is not within his purview.

This is clearly a new drama being enacted by the Central government. The workers of the Vizag steel plant and the Telangana government have been asking the centre to allocate Bailadila iron ore mines. Bailadila is 600 km from the Vizag steel plant and 160 kilometres from the proposed steel plant at Bayyaram in Mahabubabad district of Telangana. Ignoring the pleas, the Centre has allocated the Bailadila iron ore mines to the Adani group, the minister pointed out.

Mr Rama Rao sought to know what exactly is the BJP’s conspiracy on the overall episode. Is it not to divert the attention of people, he posed. The Centre suddenly changed its track as the BRS vowed to fight to protect the Vizag steel plant from being privatised. The Telangana government said it was for bidding and even sent the Singareni officials to study the issue and the Expression of Intent, but the centre suddenly issued the statement.

The Andhra Pradesh government and other political parties remained mute spectators as they were trying to please the BJP government. The political parties in the state were eagerly waiting for the favourable disposition of Modi ahead of the elections. But one single statement by the Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao changed the entire game plan.

Unable to stomach the growing popularity of BRS in Andhra Pradesh, the BJP and AP leaders are belittling the BRS, the minister said. Mr Rama Rao categorically said that the BRS would not give up its fight for the protection of the Vizag steel plant and the steel plant at Bayyaram.

By Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao