There’s been no dearth of novel protests in support of Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh, and for concomitant concessions from the Centre.

On Monday, the film director K Raghavendra Rao shaved his beard and offered prayers at the Tirupati temple, seeking SCS for the state.

The common custom for devotees is to tonsure their heads and offer their hair to the temple deity – Lord Venkateswara – when their wishes are fulfilled.

Rao, 75, says his special act will soon bring the people of Andhra Pradesh good news. “In the past, I have tonsured my head clean here several times after my wish was fulfilled”, he said.

The veteran director, known predominantly for his work in Telugu cinema, is a staunch supporter of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

He’s made several promotional films for the party and for the Chandrababu Naidu government. He has also served as an executive member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board.

Meanwhile, the TDP MPs who rolled out their dramatic protests within the precincts of Parliament – and concluded them with a march towards the Prime Ministers residence – are now returning to their constituencies to step up their campaign.

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