Hardik Patel steadfast with his demands, hunger strike enters 12th day

Not willing to compromise on his demands of farm loan waiver and reservation for the Patidars

Ahmedabad.

The Gujarat government on September 4 stepped up its attempts to persuade social activist Hardik Patel after doctors expressed concern over his declining health.

The Patidar leader has been on a hunger strike for 12 days now.

The state government held a meeting with several key leaders of the Patidar community at Gandhinagar on September 4, hours after doctors expressed concern over Hardik’s health.

Hardik has lost almost 20kg weight in the last 11 days and should get admitted to the hospital.

Hardik had launched his fast on August 25 to push for demands, including farm loan waiver and reservation for Patidar community under Other Backward Class (OBC) category in education sector and government jobs.

He launched the strike at his bungalow on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on the third anniversary of his mega pro-quota rally in the city.

Government’s reaction

Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel met Patidar leaders associated with six different bodies of the community. He said the government’s priority is to ensure that the Patidar leader calls off his hunger strike.

Revenue minister Kaushik Patel and Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja also spoke with Patidar leaders associated with Vishwa Umiya Foundation, Umiya Mata Sansthan and Khodaldham Trust, among others.

Hardik has received support from former Union minister Yashwant Sinha and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Shatrughan Sinha, who met him on September 4.

Following a meeting with Hardik, Yashwant Sinha announced that he would take the agitation, particularly with regard to farmers, to the national level.

"During my short meeting with Hardik, it has been decided that we will take this agitation to the national level and fight strongly. Not just Gujarat, we will take this movement to every corner of the country," Yashwant Sinha said.

"The issues for which Hardik Patel is holding a fast have created an impact across the country. The issues are being discussed everywhere," he added.

The former Union minister also said the government should pay attention to the demand of reservation.

Shatrughan Sinha, however, maintained that their meeting with Hardik was not politically motivated.

Shatrughan Sinha alleged that the BJP governments at the Centre as well as Gujarat were not bothered even as the entire Patidar community was worried about Hardik.

Hardik also received support from leaders and representatives of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Hindustani Awami Morcha (HAM), who visited him at his residence.

On the ninth day of his fast, Hardik unveiled his will.

The Patidar leader divided his property among his parents, a sister, 14 youths killed during the quota stir in 2015 and a ‘Panjrapole’ (shelter for ill and old cows) close to his village.

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