The BRS has given a call for ‘Maha Dharna’ on April 8 against the Centre’s decision to auction the coal mines of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), on the very day Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in the state capital to address a public rally and lay the foundation stone for a slew of projects.
Vehemently opposing the Central government’s “veiled attempts to privatize SCCL,” the BRS working president and Minister KT Rama Rao gave the call for protests. The Centre has issued a notification to auction the mines in Sattupalli Block 3, Shravan Palli, Penagadapa.
Rao demanded that the auctioning process, which was scheduled to be conducted from March 29 to May 30, be rolled back. Instead SCCL should be allocated the mines without auctioning. “BRS leaders and activists along with Singareni employees will protest against the Centre, in Mancherial, Kothagudem, Ramagundam on April 8,” Rao said.
He wondered why it was necessary to privatize the SCCL when it is setting records in terms of production, profits and Plant Load Factor (PLF). He alleged that the Centre was conspiring to push the profitable Singareni into losses by not allocating the coal mines.
The Centre has already sold many profitable public sector units, he said, adding that the Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) was pushed into losses by not allocating mines to it. He said that Chief Minister and BRS president K Chandrashekar Rao earlier wrote to the Centre stating that the coal mines needed for SCCL should be allocated to it.
He recalled that a large number of lignite mines were allocated to Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) following the nomination method but the Prime Minister, who was generous towards Gujarat, discriminated against progressive Telangana.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visited Ramagundam on 11 November last year assured that Singareni would not be privatized. But the PM did not stand by his promise, he rued. Rao said that the attempts to privatize SCCL was actually to prevent the chief minister from providing 24 hours free electricity to farmers.