Ahmedabad: As doctors expressed concern over the health of Hardik Patel, the Gujarat government Tuesday stepped up its efforts to persuade the Patidar leader to end his indefinite hunger strike which entered the eleventh day.
Hardik had launched his fast on 25 August for demands, including farm loan waiver and reservation for the Patidar community under OBC category in government jobs and education sector. The BJP-led state government held a meeting with several key leaders of the Patidar community at Gandhinagar Tuesday night, hours after doctors expressed concern over the health of Patel who has lost almost 20 kgs of weight in the last eleven days.The doctors attached to the Sola civil hospital said Hardik had lost weight and should get admitted to the hospital. After meeting Patidar leaders associated with six different bodies of the community, Energy Minister Saurabh Patel 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. “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.
CK Patel, who led the delegation of Patidar leaders, told reporters that they would convey the feelings of the government to the 25-year-old quota spearhead. “This is just a first meeting over many issues of Patidars. Such meetings will take place in the future too. The government showed a positive approach to many of our demands. We will meet Hardik to convince him to end his fast,” he told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Saurabh Patel had claimed that Hardik Patel’s quota movement was a politically-motivated agitation with the backing of the Congress. Meanwhile, more support poured in for Hardik Patel on Tuesday, as former union minister Yashwant Sinha along with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shatrughan Sinha met him at his residence near here and extended their support.