Keeping his promise to come to support the ongoing agitation against the divestment of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Telugu film industry actor and Jana Sena Party founder Pawan Kalyan landed in the Andhra Pradesh port city on Sunday, October 31. After his arrival in Visakhapatnam, the Jana Sena Party chief led a massive rally from the airport to the meeting venue. Declaring his party's support for the anti-privatisation movement, he participated in a public meeting organised near the steel plant gates at Kurmannapalem. Pawan Kalyan, who hit out at the move proposed by the Union government, is in alliance with the BJP in the state.
Addressing the gathering, Pawan Kalyan recalled the sacrifices that people of Andhra Pradesh had made for getting the steel plant to the state. "Activists and students had fought for the project and 32 people lost their lives to police bullets in the agitation," he said. The Jana Sena Party leader blamed the ruling YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh for not raising the matter in Parliament. He further urged the government to convene an all party delegation to take the Visakhapatnam steel plant issue forward.
"My party has no representation in the Lok Sabha. The ruling party has 22 MPs in Parliament but they are silent. There's no point in blaming the Union government, if the state government is keeping quiet in this matter," he said. Pawan Kalyan demanded that the state government convene an all-party meet to discuss the matter, failing which he would spell out his strategy for intensifying the agitation.
He questioned the ruling party on its contradictory stance at Delhi and in the state vis-a-vis the Union government. "The YSRCP supported the CAA and farm laws in Delhi, but opposed them in the state," he said.
Meanwhile, YSRCP MLA from Anakapalli, Gudivada Amarnath, criticised Pawan Kalyan and said that he has no moral right to talk about the issue as he is allied with the BJP, which has initiated the process of privatisation at the central level.
(With IANS inputs)