Hyderabad: Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has called for ‘Maha Dharna’ on Saturday against the Centre’s decision to auction coal mines of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).
Telangana’s ruling party has called for the protest on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Hyderabad to launch various projects and address a public meeting.
BRS recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Ramagundam on November 11, 2022 had assured that Sinagreni would not be privatised but he did not stand by his promise.
BRS working president and minister K.T. Rama Rao questioned how Modi would respond to it during his visit to the state on Saturday.
Vehemently opposing the Centre’s ‘veiled attempts to privatize SCCL’, KTR has given a call for ‘Maha Dharna’.
Stating that the Centre issued a notification to auction the mines in Sattupalli Block 3, Shravan Palli, Penagadapa, KTR demanded the auctioning process, which was scheduled to be conducted from March 29 to May 30, be rolled back. He also demanded that SCCL should be allocated the mines without auctioning.
BRS leaders and activists along with Singareni employees will stage protests against the Centre, in Mancherial, Kothagudem and Ramagundam on Saturday.
KTR asked if anyone from the Center will dare to reason the need for privatising SCCL when it is setting records in terms of production, profits and Plant Load Factor (PLF).
In a statement, the BRS leader spoke about the economic significance of SCCL, the Centre’s conspiracy to impede Telangana’s growth by privatising SCCL, disastrous impact of its privatisation on various sections of the state and other crucial aspects.
The party’s working president said that the Centre is conspiring to push Singareni, which is currently reaping profits, into losses by not allocating the coal mines. Stating that the Centre sold many Public Sector Units which made profits, he said that Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) was pushed into losses by not allocating mines to it. KTR stated that Telangana will strongly oppose the Centre’s conspiracy.
He said that Chief Minister and BRS President K. Chandrasekhar Rao already wrote to the Centre stating that the coal mines needed for SCCL be allocated to it. The party’s working president said that Singareni employees too have placed the same demand. He said that there was no response from private companies to earlier attempts to auction the mines. “Though the Telangana government urged the Central government from the past several years to allocate the mines to Singareni, the Centre turned a deaf ear to it,” said KTR.
He recalled that a large number of Lignite mines were allocated to Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) following the nomination method. However, KTR said that the same request to allocate mines to SCCL was not considered by the Centre. The Minister said that the Prime Minister, who was generous towards Gujarat, discriminated against Telangana.
KTR said that the attempts to privatize SCCL is to mar CM KCR’s determination to provide 24 hours free electricity to farmers. Stating that Singareni plays a crucial role in thermal power generation in the state and that it provides high quality power to agricultural needs, industries, and domestic requirements, he said that the Centre is creating obstacles.
KTR said that the Centre is not able to digest the appreciation Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project has been receiving. He added that the Centre is plotting to deprive the lift irrigation projects of power supply.
Meanwhile, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar has termed as a political gimmick the call by BRS for protests.
He said Prime Minister Modi has already clarified that Singareni will not be privatised. He pointed out that the state government holds 51 per cent stake in SCCL and hence there is no truth in the BRS claim that the Centre is trying to privatise it.