Andhra BJP president Somu Veerraju on Monday met Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan along with other leaders of the party, and submitted a memorandum seeking reconsideration of privatising the Vizag steel plant as it "pertains to the sentiments of the state ". "People of Andhra Pradesh are opposing the privatisation of the steel plant. We have informed that their sentiments must be protected," said Veerraju.
He was accompanied by Daggubati Purandeshwari, Sunil Deodhar and other BJP leaders, as they apprised Pradhan of the alternatives available to protect the plant. "We have requested the protection of steel plant employees' welfare," said the state BJP chief.
Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Palla Srinivas Rao's indefinite fast to stop the plant's privatisation has entered the seventh day. As Srinivas Rao's health is deteriorating, TDP state president Kinjarapu Atchannaidu held an emergency meeting.
Atchannaidu informed that Rao suffered vomiting and this matter was discussed in the meeting.
"We have also decided to call the TDP national president N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday to extend his support to Rao," said Atchannaidu.
The TDP has accused the ruling YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh of not putting pressure on the Union government to stall the privatisation move.
"The steel plant should remain in government control, considering how Andhra people waged prolonged agitations and farmers gave away thousands of acres of their ancestral lands. Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy regime is playing a dubious role in the whole privatisation plan," claimed TDP national General Secretary Nara Lokesh.
Last week, Jana Sena Party founder Pawan Kalyan, whose party is in an alliance with the BJP, had visited Delhi, reportedly to discuss the issue with senior BJP leaders, in a bid to protect the steel plant from privatisation.
Protests have continued in Visakhapatnam against the privatisation from various opposition parties in the state as well as workersâ€™ unions.