Stating that it was necessary to stay alive to fight and win, Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel, who had been on fast for the last 19 days, on Wednesday ended his indefinite hunger strike even as the BJP government in Gujarat refused to talk to him over his demands for farm loan waiver and reservation for Patidars in jobs and education institutes.
“I decided to end the fast as the community leaders were saying that we could fight only if we are alive, and we can win only if we fight. And so, bowing before their demands, I chose to break my fast. Now, I will intensify my fight against the government,” Hardik said after breaking his fast with lemonade in the presence of leaders of six major Patidar socio-religious organisations.
Naresh Patel and Prahlad Patel, the respective chiefs of Khodaldham Trust and Umiyadham Trust — the highest socio-religious bodies of Leuva and Kadva Patels, respectively — were present at Hardik’s Ahmedabad residence when he broke the fast. C K Patel, the head of Vishv Umiya Foundation, a social Patidar group and Jeram Vansjaliya, leader of Umiya Mataji Temple Trust of Sidsar in Jamnagar, were also present.
“Neither me nor the (Patidar) community should feel ashamed. It is the government which should feel ashamed that it does not care for the debt of over four crore farmers of Gujarat,” Hardik said. The Patidar leader said that his fight would not be confined to reservation now, but will be “a fight to save democracy in the country”. “They will realise it when we will sit on fast at Jantar Mantar in Delhi,” he said.