The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Gujarat government held meeting with several key leaders of the Patidar community at Gandhinagar on Tuesday after doctors expressed concern over the health of Patidar leader Hardik Patel who has been on an indefinite hunger strike since August 25.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Gujarat government held meeting with several key leaders of the Patidar community at Gandhinagar on Tuesday after doctors expressed concern over the health of Patidar leader Hardik Patel who has been on an indefinite hunger strike since August 25. The doctors attached to the Sola civil hospital said Hardik has lost about 20kgs in the last eleven days and should be admitted to the hospital.
Energy Minister Saurabh Patel met with the Patidar leaders associated with six different bodies of the community on Tuesday evening and said the government’s priority is to ensure that Hardik calls of 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.
“During the meeting, we conveyed that the government is worried about Hardik Patel. We appealed to the leaders to persuade Hardik Patel to end his fast. The leaders have promised us that they would meet Hardik Patel in this regard,” the energy minister said after the meeting.
Earlier in the day, Saurabh Patel had alleged that Hardik’s hunger strike was a politically motivated move backed by Congress. He said the Congress leaders who went to meet Hardik at his residence are those who are “anti-BJP and opponents of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
“The quota stir is politically-motivated. The Congress needs to make its stand clear about reservation when the Supreme Court and various high courts have already made it clear that quota can not go beyond 50 per cent,” the minister had said.
Meanwhile, Hardik got support from former Union minister Yashwant Sinha along with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shatrughan Sinha who met him at his residence and extended their support.
After the meeting, Yashwant Sinha announced that he would take Hardik’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,” Sinha said.
Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha maintained that their meeting with Hardik was not politically motivated and they had gathered purely on the basis of humanity. “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.
Hardik had started his fast demanding farm loan waiver and reservation for the Patidar community under OBC category in government jobs and education sector, among others.