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Telangana’s proposed bid for Vizag Plant brews tension with AP

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Hyderabad: The Bharat Rashtra Samithi-led state government’s reported decision to bid on the Vizag Steel Plant (VCP) through its Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) while alleging that the Centre is trying to privatise the steel plant has triggered a row in both the Telugu states.

While Andhra Pradesh’s YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government came under attack from opposition parties for doing nothing to stop privatisation of the VSP, opposition in Telangana questioned the KCR government’s move to use funds of Telangana in another state.

Telangana BJP President Bandi Sanjay Kumar alleged that BRS set aside core ideals of Telangana for KCR’s “selfish political interests”. “Telangana State money will be used for Andhra Pradesh’s steel plant,” he remarked.

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Andhra Pradesh Industry Minister Gudivada Amarnath, however, maintained that YSRCP is opposed to privatisation. “There is no official statement from the Telangana government. We have seen only speculations in the media,” he said.

BRS leaders, on the other hand, defended the move. “When Gujarat MDC bid and get mines in Odisha, why can’t Telangana bid for Vizag Steel Plant for which even Telangana people lost lives fighting for,” asked party leader Krishank Manne, who is also Chairman of Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC).

Apart from the SCCL, the TSMDC is also likely to submit EoI for VSP.

“Vizag Steel Plant, Bayyaram are not encouraged only for the benefit of Modi+Adani+Posco,” he tweeted.

This is said to be the first time a state-run company will place bids to secure a PSU in a neighbouring state.

The move is also expected to politically benefit KCR’s party, which recently changed itself to the BRS from the TRS to expand pan-India.

BRS Working President and KCR’s son K.T. Rama Rao had last week written to the Centre opposing its move to privatise the VSP.

Reacting to KTR’s letter, former joint director of the CBI, V. V. Lakshminarayana had suggested that either Andhra Pradesh or Telangana government should submit the EoI for VSP.

The BRS had also organised a ‘Maha Dharna’ on April 8 to protest against the Centre’s decision to auction SCCL coal mines. The protest was organised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Hyderabad.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) national Secretary K. Narayana on Monday welcomed Telangana’s interest in VSP.

He said that if VSP goes into the hands of private companies like Adani Group, it would be a great loss to the country and appreciated KCR’s decision to take over the PSU.

CPI’s Andhra Pradesh Secretary Ramakrishna questioned the silence of Jagan Mohan Reddy government over VSP’s privatisation when Telangana government is trying to acquire the plant.



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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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