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Tuesday 31 March 2020

No negotiation in sight; Hardik Patel breaks indefinite hunger strike after 19 days

Hardik had begun his indefinite hunger strike on 25 August at his residence near here, demanding reservation for Patidars under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category and loan waiver for Gujarat farmers

Editorials

In India

Ahmedabad: Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel ended his ‘fast unto death’ on Wednesday after 19 days, even as there were no talks between him and the Gujarat government over the leader’s demands for reservation to Patidars and farm loan waiver.

Hardik had begun his indefinite hunger strike on 25 August at his residence near here, demanding reservation for Patidars under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category and loan waiver for Gujarat farmers.

Later, a demand for the release of his aide Alpesh Katheria, who was arrested on charges of sedition, was also added.

Hardik had chosen to be hospitalised on 7 September after complaining of breathlessness and damage to the kidneys. The doctors at government Sola Civil Hospital had begun his treatment while stating that his vitals were normal. Within hours, Hardik got himself shifted to SGVP Holistic Hospital near Vaishnodevi Circle. After staying there for a couple of days, he was later discharged. He, however, announced to ‘continue’ his fast at his residence.

After spending two days in the hospital, he had returned to his house and continued the hunger strike.

While he had started taking liquids and was administered glucose at the hospital, the Patidar leader claimed he did not take any solid food during the fast.

On 4 September, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Gujarat government had reacted to the agitation and claimed that Hardik’s quota movement was a “politically-motivated” agitation with the backing of the Congress.

State Energy Minister Saurabh Patel had then said that the government’s door was open for talks, but no negotiations were held.

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