The Visakhapatnam office of the Deccan Chronicle was attacked allegedly by workers of Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Telugu Desam Party, the newspaper said on Wednesday.

The newspaper said that its office was attacked by “goons” of the ruling party after it published “an unbiased report on VSP [Visakhapatnam Steel Plant] privatisation”. “Intimidation tactics won’t silence us,” the Deccan Chronicle said in a social media post, tagging the accounts of the Telugu Desam Party and its coalition partners the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Jana Sena Party.

On Tuesday, the newspaper reported that Andhra Pradesh’s newly-formed coalition government might make a U-turn and allow the privatisation of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the corporate entity of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

The decision to privatise the steel plant has been pending for more than three years amid protests by workers’ unions and objections by the previous state government of the YSR Congress Party, the newspaper reported.

The report quoted Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries Bhupathi Raju Srinivasa Varma as having said in a meeting on Monday that the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant “incurred huge losses this year also and the Central government would not allow waste of public money”.

His statement came a week after Telugu Desam Party’s Andhra Pradesh unit chief Palla Srinivasa Rao told Deccan Chronicle that the state government was seeking a revival fund of Rs 8,000 crore and a transfer of 22,000 acres of land to Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.

On June 4, the Telugu Desam Party led by N Chandrababu Naidu along with its allies, the BJP and the Jana Sena Party, won the Andhra Pradesh Assembly polls.

The Telugu Desam Party won 135 out of the state’s 175 Assembly seats. The Jana Sena Party won 21 seats and the BJP clinched eight. The YSR Congress Party, which was in power in the state since 2019, won 11 seats.

The Telugu Desam Party is also a key member of the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre.

The privatisation of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited had emerged as a contentious issue ahead of the elections in the state. The Telugu Desam Party had promised that it would ensure the plant continues to operate in the public sector, reported The Times of India.