Patidar leader Hardik Patel gives up water
Hardik Patel, who is on an indefinite fast since August 25, on Thursday night gave up taking water to press for the demand for reservations for his community and loan waiver for farmers
Patidar agitation spearhead Hardik Patel, who is on an indefinite fast since August 25, on Thursday night gave up taking water to press for the demand for reservations for his community and loan waiver for farmers.
But the Gujarat government remained unmoved despite medical reports about Patel's worsening health.
Patel's Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) had served the Gujarat Government a 24-hour ultimatum to initiate talks with him over their demands. The government maintained that the agitation was sponsored by the Congress.
Meanwhile, a state Congress delegation called on Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and submitted a memorandum requesting him to intervene and initiate dialogue with the PAAS to break the impasse
PAAS spokesman Manoj Panara said the ultimatum expired at 7 pm and the 25-year-old Patel decided to stop consuming water.
Earlier too, he had given up drinking water but was persuaded by leaders of the community after seven days of his fast as his health started deteriorating.
Panara said Hardik Patel, who took a stroll in a wheel-chair of the compound of his residence where he is fasting and met some of his supporters in the afternoon, would stop having even a drop of water and the State Government would be responsible for the consequences.
Manoj Panara came up with an allegation, though unsubstantiated, that the PAAS had "definite information" that the state government was "conspiring to kill Hardik" as a warning to all those who dared raised their voice "against the autocratic rule of the BJP".
He said the government hospital doctors, who were appointed to monitor Hardik Patel's health, had started claiming that his kidney, heart and several other organs had been "infected" but the private medical practitioners had refuted the claim.
On September 4, doctors from the Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad conducted a medical check-up of Hardik announced that the young leader needs to be hospitalised since he had lost 20 kilos.
On Wednesday, when the doctors took his weight again, Hardik weighed 65 kg. And the news spread that Hardik is now gaining weight. But the medical team later admitted that the discrepancy in weight was due to an error in the weighing scale. Dr Pravin Solanki of Sola Civil Hospital confirmed that there has been no increase in his weight but it has been falling consistently.
He said "We had asked for his blood sample but he refused. He is facing difficulties in breathing. Thats why we advised him to be hospitalised. We have recommended ORS and juice. Earlier a loss in weight was recorded, but there a is a discrepancy due to an error in scale that is why some plus-minus was recorded."
Meanwhile, a state Congress delegation called on Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and submitted a memorandum requesting him to intervene and initiate dialogue with the PAAS to break the impasse.
Meanwhile, more support poured in for Hardik Patel Tuesday, as former Union minister Yashwant Sinha along with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shatrughan Sinha met him at his residence and extended their support.
After the meeting, Yashwant Sinha announced that he would take Hardik Patel's 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," Mr Sinha told reporters.
"The issues on which Hardik Patel is holding fast have created an impact across the country. The issues are being discussed everywhere," he added.
While the former Union finance minister maintained that he and others were with Hardik Patel in his "fight for farmers", he also opined that the government should pay attention to the demand of reservation.
Responding to a query on caste quota, Mr Sinha said the Union government should chart out a way forward as people from various communities who were outside the scope of reservation have demanded it.
"The Central government should think about this. It has formed a backward class commission. It should think on how to take this matter forward. As far as possible, we should try to work to improve (lives) of many communities who have lagged behind, as per Constitution," he said.
Shatrughan Sinha said their meeting with Hardik Patel was not politically motivated.
"We gathered here in a non-political capacity on the basis of humanity. We are here because our aim is to construct the temple of humanity. We have no objection on mandir-masjid (sic)," he said.
He alleged that the BJP governments in Centre and Gujarat were not bothered even as the entire Patidar community was worried about Hardik.
"When farmers' loans can be waived in other BJP-ruled states, why it cannot happen in Gujarat? Farmers must get justice. I appeal to the government to waive farm loans," Shatrughan Sinha said, adding democracy needs to be strengthened to fight autocracy.
With agency inputs