Ahmedabad: Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel who has been on an indefinite hunger strike for over 14 days now, was rushed to a hospital after his health deteriorated on Friday. Patel was taken to the Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad where he is being monitored by a team of three doctors. Doctors at the hospital said reports of Patel were normal and there was no reason for worrying.
Patel who has been fasting for the past 13 days, has been demanding reservations for the Patidar community and loan waiver for the farmers. Reportedly, Patel stopped drinking water starting last night after his 24-hour deadline given to begin talks over both his demands came to an end.
As per the doctors, Patel has lost nearly 20 kilograms in the two week time. Meanwhile, doctors have already expressed concern over the failing health of the 25-year-old leader. However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers have blamed Patel for carrying out a politically motivated agitation. The saffron party leaders have also accused the Congress of sponsoring the agitation. They said that they had tried talking with PAAS but they weren’t entertained by the party.
Several Congress leaders from Gujarat on Friday morning started a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity of the Patidar leader. Other opposition parties such as the Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, DMK, JDS had also come out in support and had appealed to the state government to initiate dialogue.
Hardik Patel had launched his fast on August 25 pressing for demands, including farm loan waiver and reservation for the Patidar community under OBC category in government jobs and education sector.
Earlier on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had sent a Rakhi to the Patidar leader. Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Dinesh Trivedi had met Patel at his residence where the latter had been sitting on an indefinite fast pressing for reservation for the Patidar community and waiver of farm debt in the state of Gujarat. Dinesh Trivedi gave Mamata’ s Rakhi to Hardik and expressed TMCs support on his fast.