Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on Monday urged Patidar leader Hardik Patel to end his hunger strike immediately, saying his “services are needed for this country to fight further for good causes”.
Patel, who has been fasting for the last 10 days, on Sunday announced that he has prepared his will. He started his fast-unto-death on August 25 to demand reservation for his community under the Other Backward Classes category and a farm loan waiver.
Deve Gowda also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene immediately and “save the life of young Patidar leader in the interest of Backward Classes and community”. He also urged him to set up a commission to look into Patel’s demands. The former prime minister posted his letters to Patel and Modi on Twitter on Monday.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also asked Patel to take care of his health. “His movement, which has spread awareness among people, and his supporters need his active leadership,” Yadav said.
Patel has said he will not allow doctors to conduct medical checkups until police stop harassing visitors at his home, PTI reported. “Gujarat’s Bharatiya Janata Party government has not seen my resolve,” he tweeted on Monday. “The more I stay hungry, the more my resolve will go up. I am not so weak that I will die before getting people their rights.”
In his will, Patel has named his parents and sister, a gaushala (cow shelter) and the kin of the 14 Patidars who died during the quota agitation in 2015 as his inheritors. Patel and other leaders of his outfit fear that his health may deteriorate as the BJP-ruled state government has not responded to his demands.
Several Congress leaders have visited him at his Ahmedabad home. Political outfits such as the Nationalist Congress Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party have extended their support to the Patidar leader. Gujarat’s Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani has criticised the state government for neglecting farmers and others.