Congress announces shutdown in Bastar over Nagarnar Steel Plant privatization

Raipur In a strong opposition move against the privatization of the Nagarnar Steel Plant, the Congress party has declared a shutdown in Bastar on October 3. Chhattisgarh Congress president Deepak Baij stated this in a press conference in Raipur on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Jagdalpur on October 3 and he will inaugurate the plant besides addressing a public meeting. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has also made a fervent demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce the cancellation of the privatization plans for the plant. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has aimed his criticism at Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming visit to inaugurate the Nagarnar Plant. He highlighted that the land allocated to the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) originally belonged to tribal communities. These tribal communities have been continuously protesting for employment opportunities within the plant. Baghel emphasized the historical stance of the Congress, stating that even when they were in the opposition, they advocated for proper management and opportunities for the tribal communities.

After assuming power, they passed a resolution in the assembly opposing the privatization of the Nagarnar Steel Plant. While the state government is open to the state government taking control of the plant, certain conditions have been imposed, hindering the state’s participation. The Chief Minister also criticized the central government for not allowing the state government to invest in the plant’s privatization process. He suggested that this decision seemed to favor particular interests rather than the welfare of the tribal population, leading to discontent within the tribal society. Baghel called for members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to openly express their opinions on this matter, emphasizing that even BJP legislators had agreed to the unworkable resolution in the assembly, which prevented the state government from taking control and participating. Regarding the takeover of the Nagarnar Steel Plant, the Chief Minister revealed that companies like Tata, Jindal, Adani, and others are showing interest during the Investors’ Outreach Assembly. He asserted that the plant would not be sold into private hands because the land it stands on belongs to the tribal communities. He also highlighted a proposal to establish a super-specialty hospital, which is yet to be realized. Furthermore, Baghel noted the presence of the Civil Aviation Minister accompanying the Prime Minister during his visit and demanded the commencement of flights from Jagdalpur to Jabalpur and Delhi, stating that the state government is ready to provide financial support for this initiative.

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