TDP MP CM Ramesh begins indefinite hunger strike, demands steel plant for Kadapa

TDP MP CM Ramesh on Wednesday launched an indefinite hunger strike against the central government’s delay in establishing a steel plant in Kadapa district, despite assurances made by the state government to provide necessary facilities.

He began the hunger strike while sharing the stage with TDP MLC Mareddy Ravindranath Reddy at the premises of the Zilla Parishad office in Kadapa.

Andhra was bifurcated in accordance with the AP Reorganization Act, 2014. According to provisions in the Act, the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) had to form a committee and within six months of formation of the committee, to check the feasibility of setting up a steel plant in Kadapa district.

“Many industries are in and around Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh has been given the shorter end of the stick after bifurcation. If we get the steel plant here, we will also generate a lot of jobs. The BJP promised us before the elections in their manifesto that they will fulfil all the assurances made in the Act. However, they have gone back on their word,” Ramesh alleged.

Earlier this week, with the Centre refusing to sanction the steel plant in Kadapa as they found the project to be ‘financially unviable’, the TDP has reacted strongly, calling it an act of ‘vendetta’.

The TDP has also slammed the Opposition parties for not protesting against the injustice.

Last week, the Centre told the Supreme Court that the steel plant in Bayaram, Telangana and Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh was not feasible, as the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) found the project to be financially unviable.

Infuriated by the Centre’s denial, despite its earlier promises of finding a solution, TDP MP CM Ramesh, had announced a fast-unto-death if the steel plant wasn’t set up as promised during the bifurcation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

In 2014, after the states were bifurcated, SAIL had said that setting up of a plant is prima facie not financially viable. As the Andhra government raised objection over it, a task force comprising SAIL, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and two other companies was formed in 2016, which conducted a study on the feasibility of the project.

However, much to their dismay, in the final report submitted by SAIL, it retained its earlier position that the project was financially unviable.