A person with disabilities from Andhra Pradesh allegedly killed himself on Monday near the AP Bhavan in New Delhi where Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu undertook a 12-hour fast demanding special category status (SCS) to the state.
The man, identified as 40-year-old D Arjun Rao, was reported to be a native of Srikakulam district and was found dead on a wheel-chair. The police shifted the body to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
There was initial confusion on the reason for his death, as the Delhi police said that they recovered a suicide note from Arjun’s pocket, which claimed that he had been depressed for some time now and was in a dire economic condition as well. However, Chandrababu Naidu said in his speech that Arjun Rao ended his life over the Centre's refusal to give special status to Andhra Pradesh.
Naidu said the man had come to the national capital on his own. He announced Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia for the family of the deceased and declared that his last rites would be performed with official honours.
Naidu appealed to people not to take their own life, saying this was not a solution to the problem. He advised people to have courage and fight for the rights of the state.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh CM’s fast to demand special status for the state in New Delhi on Monday, turned into a show of strength for the opposition parties, which attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for subverting India's democracy and federal structure.
Prominent opposition leaders, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the venue of fast at the Andhra Bhavan and endorsed the special status demand.
While Shiv Sena, a BJP ally, sent Sanjay Raut (MP), Shatrughan Sinha (BJP MP) and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha also visited the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief.
Leading his party's charge, Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of lying about granting special status to Andhra Pradesh and said the Prime Minister was left with no credibility.
"The Prime Minister has stolen from the people from Andhra Pradesh and given that money to his crony," he alleged.
Speaking on the occasion, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanded the Modi government fulfil the promise of special status to Andhra without any further loss of time.
This is the second time that the opposition have come together to present a united front against the Modi-led BJP. On January 19, leaders of 23 national and regional parties descended on Kolkata for a rally and pledged to work together to prevent the BJP retaining power.