Ahmedabad (Gujarat): Support from Opposition parties continued to pour in for Quota leader Hardik Patel whose indefinite fast for Patidar reservation and farm loan waiver entered the tenth day Monday. The BJP government in Gujarat is yet to intervene into the matter.
Congress’ national spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil has urged the state government to talk to the quota spearhead to break the deadlock. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Monday extended his support to Hardik Patel over the farm loan waiver demand. Extending his support, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav has appealed to the 25-year-old Patidar leader to end his fast.
Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has announced that two main religious bodies of Patidars – Umiya Mata Sansthan and Khodaldham – have extended their support to the quota leader. In the last nine days, leaders and representatives from various political parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Hindustani Awami Morcha (HAM) have visited Hardik Patel at his residence, the venue of his fast near Ahmedabad, and extended their support.
After meeting Hardik Patel, Gohil slammed the BJP government for not intervening into the matter. “Hardik is fighting for farmers. His fight is for the betterment of Gujarat and its people. It is very unfortunate that the state government is not even ready to talk to him. I urge the government to establish a dialogue with Hardik and try to make him end his fast as soon as possible,” the senior Congress leader said. Gohil expressed his displeasure over huge deployment of police personnel outside the residence of Hardik Patel.
He claimed that some local leaders who were accompanying him were prevented from entering the premises by the police personnel, at the behest of the BJP government. “…What kind of democracy is this? If the BJP does not stop such activities, the law and order situation may get deteriorated and the BJP will be solely responsible. If the people of Gujarat awaken, it will become difficult for the BJP to deal with it,” he said. In his tweet, Arvind Kejriwal said, “Farm loans should be waived. Hardik Patel is fighting for poor farmers.
All the farmers and the entire community is with him. I am sure that his penance will not be wasted. May god give him strength”. Hardening his stand, Hardik Patel said that he won’t allow doctors to conduct his medical check-up “until the police stop harassing people visiting his residence”. Sola civil hospital has deployed a fully-equipped ambulance–‘ICU on Wheels’–at the venue of the fast, the hospital said in a statement.
Hardik Patel had yesterday released his “will” in which he divided his property among his parents, a sister, 14 youths killed during the quota agitation in 2015 and a’ Panjrapole’ (shelter for ill and old cows) near his village. Hardik Patel had launched his hunger strike on August 25–the third anniversary of his mega pro-quota rally in Ahmedabad that had turned violent. He is demanding a loan waiver for farmers and quota for Patidars in government jobs and education under the Other Backward Class category.