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1-min read

Congress Steps in as Hardik Patel's Health Declines Further, Gives Ultimatum to Gujarat Govt

PAAS leaders had on Wednesday night given their own ultimatum that Hardik would stop drinking water from Thursday night if the government does not start talks over his demands.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:September 6, 2018, 6:42 PM IST
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Congress Steps in as Hardik Patel's Health Declines Further, Gives Ultimatum to Gujarat Govt
Ahmedabad: A doctor checks the health of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel on the 7th day of his indefinite hunger strike for reservation, in Ahmedabad on Friday, Aug 31, 2018. (Image: PTI)
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Ahmedabad: A delegation of Congress leaders met Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday evening demanding that his government initiate a dialogue with Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti to end the deadlock over Hardik Patel’s indefinite fast that has been going on for 13 days.

The Congress gave an ultimatum to the state government, saying that party leaders will embark on a 24-hour fast from 11am on Friday if the government does not initiate talks.

PAAS leaders had on Wednesday night given their own ultimatum that Hardik would stop drinking water from Thursday night if the government does not start talks over his demands.

Hardik had stopped drinking water earlier this week but had resumed consumption after he was persuaded to do so by religious leaders who met him. His health has continued to deteriorate and on Thursday he had to be moved around in a wheelchair. Doctors had on Tuesday night said that he has lost over 20kg weight because of the hunger strike.

Protests have intensified in different parts of the state. In Mehsana, angry Patidars attempted to stop traffic by burning tyres on the highway, while in places like Surat, Morbi, Bhavnagar and Unjha, Patidar women protested against the government by beating plates. Cops have been posted at all sensitive places to control the situation.

The state government has so far only stated that it is worried about the health of Hardik Patel. BJP ministers and top party functionaries have been maintaining that Hardik’s agitation and his fast is politically motivated and sponsored by the Congress party. They had initiated talks with six other Patidar groups, but it was shut down by the PAAS.

Congress’ leader of opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, said the government has been “extremely insensitive” to the demands of the common man in Gujarat.

“Hardik Patel is just 25 years old and his health is deteriorating by the day, yet the government does not seem to be concerned at all. The Congress party fully backs his demands of loan waiver of farmer’s loans and reservation for the Patidar community and release of PAAS leader Alpesh Kathiriya,” he said. Kathiriya was arrested on charges of sedition a few days ago.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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