Man climbs cell tower in Delhi, demands Special Status for AP

The Delhi police has been reasoning with Umesh Reddy, who is holding a banner that reads 'AP need Special Status'.
Man climbs cell tower in Delhi, demands Special Status for AP
Man climbs cell tower in Delhi, demands Special Status for AP
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It has been over two hours now since a man identified as Umesh Reddy has been on top of a cell phone signal transmission tower in Delhi, threatening to commit suicide if Andhra Pradesh is not awarded Special Status Category.

On Friday, the man, who is said to be from Warangal, climbed a tower at Metro Bhavan, Connaught Place, and has refused to come down.

The man has been seen holding a banner that reads “AP needs Special Status”.

The Delhi police soon reached the spot and has been reasoning with Umesh to climb down. The police has also alerted the fire department, which arrived shortly and is on stand-by.

Umesh, as his banner suggests, is fighting for Andhra Pradesh to be included in the Special Status Category (SCS).

The SCS is used to be granted to some regions that have historically been at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the country. Jammu and Kashmir was the first state to be awarded special category status and later another 10 other states were added over the years, with Uttarakhand being last added in 2010.

With the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation, Hyderabad, which was a major tax revenue generator for the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, has become the state capital for Telangana. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told the Rajya Sabha that the SCS would be extended to AP for five years to help the state get back on track, but that offer was changed with the 14th finance commission.

This issue, after four years of state bifurcation, has turned political with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs resigning cabinet posts and the party pushing for a no-confidence motion against the ruling National Democratic Alliance-led by Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP), citing their failure to honour the SCS status to the state.

This is a developing story.

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