Visakhapatnam: The first council meeting of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) on Friday unanimously passed a resolution against the privatization of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
The issue was top on the agenda. It was taken up after Corporators Dr. B Ganga Rao of CPI (M) and Peela Srinivasa Rao of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) gave a written reresentation.
The meeting began with members condoling the death of former VMRDA chairman Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao and newly elected Corporator Dadi Surya Kumari.
Initiating the debate, Lok Sabha member from Visakhapatnam MVV Satyanarayana highlighted the efforts made by the chief minister, MPs, and MLAs.
Gajuwaka MLA Tippala Nagi Reddy and Anakapalle MLA Gudivada Amarnath said the state government strongly oppose the privatization of the Steel Plant and would soon take up the issue in the Assembly session.
There was a heated exchange of words between Amarnath and TDP Corporators. MLA Amarnath blamed TDP for demanding special category status for AP but settling down on a special package in New Delhi.
TDP Corporators later demanded convening Assembly session and passing a resolution.
The official spokesperson of TDP and Corporator Kaki Govinda Reddy suggested the resignation of Visakhapatnam district MPs MVV Satyanrayana and Dr. K Satyavati in order to put pressure on the central government.
Jana Sena Corporator Murty Yadav asked for the resignation of all the MPs and MLAs of north coastal Andhra to infuse life into ongoing agitation.
CPI (M) Corporator Dr. B Ganga Rao spoke on the importance of the public sector steel plant. Stating that the factory was established after a long struggle and sacrifice of 32 lives, Ganga Rao said the Visakhapatnam city grew around the Steel Plant. GVMC also benefited from its taxes.
"Most importantly, we drew water from steel plant reservoirs whenever there was a crisis in summer," Ganga Rao said.
Among other things, the council put on hold the appointment of 38 community guards and beautification of Mudasarlova Reservoir Park
Earlier, left Corporators came to the GVMC in a rally from Ambedkar statue raising slogans for protection of the steel plant. TDP Corporators led by Kaki Govinda Reddy took out a padayatra from the steel plant main gate to GVMC. They garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi before entering the corporation.