All the opposition parties, excluding the BJP, have lent support to the district bandh.

AP opposition calls for Kadapa bandh on June 29 as Centre says no to steel plantFile Image : Facebook/CPIM Andhra Pradesh
news Protest Monday, June 25, 2018 - 19:15

 

The opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh – YSRCP, the Left and Jana Sena Party, excluding the BJP – have called for a Kadapa district bandh on June 29 to protest against the Centre’s refusal to establish a steel plant in the district.

Speaking to TNM, CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna said, “The Centre is showing its arrogance by denying us the steel plant. First, they denied Special Category Status (SCS) and now the steel plant. The actions of the BJP are condemnable. They are committing injustice against the state.”

He added, “Several students and youngsters will take part in the bandh on June 29 and register their strong protest. In solidarity with the cause, we want people in other districts to lend support to the bandh called.”

He said that the Jana Sena Party chief, actor Pawan Kalyan, has also lent support to the bandh.

Meanwhile, the TDP has already begun an indefinite hunger strike demanding a steel plant in the city. The hunger strike taken up by TDP Rajya Sabha MP CM Ramesh and MLC Ravi entered its sixth day on Monday.

After the Centre withdrew its decision to establish the steel plant claiming that the project was financially unviable, CM Ramesh had sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to explain the necessity for the project in Kadapa. However, after he was denied the appointment, he went ahead with the strike as announced.

Speaking to ETv, he said, “I am doing this deeksha with determination. The students have mobilised themselves for the cause. Historically, when the governments are stubborn, people could achieve things when they protested in this manner. Vizag steel plant is the result of such a protest.”

“Several ministers called me up and said Modi is a stubborn man, why are you spoiling your health, why don’t you protest in the Parliament. But several people have awakened now. Students have taken up the cause. This cause is in their hands now,” he added.

The Centre, two weeks ago, refused to sanction the steel plant in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh and Bayaram in Telangana after the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) found the projects to be financially unviable.

Background

Under the 13th schedule of the AP Reorganisation Act, a steel plant was promised to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. However, since the beginning the Centre had been stating that the projects were not feasible.

In 2014, after the states were bifurcated, SAIL had said that setting up of a plant is prima facie not financially viable. After the Andhra government raised objections, a task force comprising SAIL, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and two other companies was formed in 2016, which conducted a study on the feasibility of the project.

However, as there were still apprehensions over the project, a delegation of TDP MPs and MLAs met Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh in December last year. After the meeting, the Andhra ministers were confident that the steel plant would become a reality as the preliminary report by the task force was ‘positive’. However, much to their dismay, in the final report submitted by SAIL, it retained its earlier position that the project was financially unviable.

The opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh – YSRCP, the Left and Jana Sena Party, excluding the BJP – have called for a Kadapa district bandh on June 29 to protest against the Centre’s refusal to establish a steel plant in the district.

Speaking to TNM, CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna said, “The Centre is showing its arrogance by denying us the steel plant. First, they denied Special Category Status (SCS) and now the steel plant. The actions of the BJP are condemnable. They are committing injustice against the state.”

He added, “Several students and youngsters will take part in the bandh on June 29 and register their strong protest. In solidarity with the cause, we want people in other districts to lend support to the bandh called.”

He said that the Jana Sena Party chief, actor Pawan Kalyan, has also lent support to the bandh.

Meanwhile, the TDP has already begun an indefinite hunger strike demanding a steel plant in the city. The hunger strike taken up by TDP Rajya Sabha MP CM Ramesh and MLC Ravi entered its sixth day on Monday.

After the Centre withdrew its decision to establish the steel plant claiming that the project was financially unviable, CM Ramesh had sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to explain the necessity for the project in Kadapa. However, after he was denied the appointment, he went ahead with the strike as announced.

Speaking to ETv, he said, “I am doing this deeksha with determination. The students have mobilised themselves for the cause. Historically, when the governments are stubborn, people could achieve things when they protested in this manner. Vizag steel plant is the result of such a protest.”

“Several ministers called me up and said Modi is a stubborn man, why are you spoiling your health, why don’t you protest in the Parliament. But several people have awakened now. Students have taken up the cause. This cause is in their hands now,” he added.

The Centre, two weeks ago, refused to sanction the steel plant in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh and Bayaram in Telangana after the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) found the projects to be financially unviable.

Background

Under the 13th schedule of the AP Reorganisation Act, a steel plant was promised to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. However, since the beginning the Centre had been stating that the projects were not feasible.

In 2014, after the states were bifurcated, SAIL had said that setting up of a plant is prima facie not financially viable. After the Andhra government raised objections, a task force comprising SAIL, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and two other companies was formed in 2016, which conducted a study on the feasibility of the project.

However, as there were still apprehensions over the project, a delegation of TDP MPs and MLAs met Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh in December last year. After the meeting, the Andhra ministers were confident that the steel plant would become a reality as the preliminary report by the task force was ‘positive’. However, much to their dismay, in the final report submitted by SAIL, it retained its earlier position that the project was financially 

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