PAAS leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday broke his indefinite hunger strike at his residence, 19 days after he started it on August 25. The Patidar leader was demanding reservations for his community and loan waivers for farmers.
Patel, who the chief of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), started his fast at his sprawling farmhouse as the BJP government in Gujarat refused him permission to stage the protest at a public place. Patel started his agitation on the third anniversary of 2015 Patidar agitation. The Patidar leader received support from the Aam Aadmi Party, Congress, RJD and JD(S) during his fast .
“I have ended my indefinite fast after considering people’s advice that I can fight only when I am live, and I will win only when I fight,” Patel told reporters. “The BJP government should feel ashamed that it did not worry about the loan burden of farmers. I can understand that you may not agree with the demands of a community…but the government is not even serious or sensitive about the issues of people,” he added.
Patel also accused police of manhandling his supporters and preventing them from entering his residence when he was on fast.
This came a day after former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat met Hardik and urged him to end his indefinite fast. Rawat, who was recently appointed as Assam Congress in-charge, met Hardik at his residence and extended his support.
“I told him that his life is very important for farmers, Patidars and youths of this country. I appealed to him to end his fast. Instead of hunger strike, he can explore other means, such as protests and foot march,” had Rawat said.