Andhra Pradesh government endorsed state-wide bandh (strike) protesting the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant's (VSP) privatization took off on Friday."The Central government is selling away all public sector companies. This will badly affect the job prospects of people in the country," said woman protester from Eluru.Likewise, another protester from Kurnool said the Centre is not even hesitating to sell away companies which are making profit, such as Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).He said this is a conspiracy to not let the downtrodden flourish in life and get jobs.People protested bringing back memories of the decades old chant 'Visakha ukku Andhrula hakku' (Vizag steel is Andhraites right).
Labour unions demonstrated at Maddipalem bus station in Visakhapatnam or Vizag city. They sat on the road opposing the selling away of the steel plant.
From the ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Rajya Sabha MP V. Vijayasai Reddy and ministers Kannababu, and Avanti Srinivas took part in the protest.Other YSRCP leaders included MLA Gudivada Amarnath, Karanam Dharmasri and others.Similarly, labour unions have replicated the protests at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru bus station in Vijayawada.Schools, banks, businesses, cinema halls and other commercial establishments have shut shop for the bandh.Because of the bandh, school students have stayed back at home.Across the state, many people protested at the APSRTC bus stations, carrying CITU flags and other banners.APSRTC bus services have been stalled till 1 p.m., but when the transporter's employees resume duty they will sport black badges.On Thursday, Information and Public Relations (I&PR) and Transport Minister Perni Venkatramaiah declared the state government's support for the bandh.However, Venkatramaiah assured that public life will not be completely paralysed as health and emergency services will function as usual.