Ahmedabad: Senior NCP leader Praful Patel met Hardik Patel, who has been on fast since August 25 for Patidar quota demand, today at his residence near here and extended his party's support for the cause.
Various political parties, including the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the Trinamool Congress, have already extended their support to the 25-year-old quota spearhead.
Apart from quota for Patidars in government jobs and education, Hardik Patel, who heads the Patidar Anamant Andolan Samiti (PAAS), has been demanding a loan waiver for farmers in the state.
"Hardik's fight is not restricted to the Patidar community. It is also for the welfare of farmers and youths. The way he has taken up that cause and raised his voice against the policies of the government, the NCP is proud of him," the former Union minister told reporters.
The NCP leader expressed displeasure over the presence of a large number of police personnel outside Hardik Patel's residence.
"I came here to extend mine as well as my party's support to Hardik. Though I am a parliamentarian and General Secretary of my party, I have to request the police to allow me to meet Hardik. This is shameful. I think everyone has the right to sit on fast in democracy," Patel said.
Meanwhile, Hardik Patel has written a letter to the Gujarat Human Rights Commission (GHRC) requesting the body to "protect the fundamental rights" of his and his
Hardik Patel urged the Commission to direct the police not to stop his supporters and others from reaching the venue of his fast.
He also accused the police of using "excessive force" to prevent his supporters from coming to the city.
Meanwhile, a team of doctors from Sola Civil Hospital today conducted a medical check-up on Hardik Patel and advised him to get hospitalised.
As per the medical bulletin, Hardik Patel has lost one kg of weight in the last four days.
Doctors cautioned that the fast could adversely impact kidneys of Hardik Patel if he does not take fruits or juice.
Hardik Patel started 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 Gujarat farmers and inclusion of his community in the OBC category to facilitate reservation for its members in government jobs and education.
Hardik Patel launched his fast from his residence after authorities in Ahmedabad as well as Gandhinagar refused to allot a place for the hunger strike.
Former railway minister and TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, representatives of the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Hindustani Awam Morcha of former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi had called on him to extend their suppport on August 26.
A total of 28 Congress MLAs from Gujarat and Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Kapil Patil from Maharashtra had also visited Hardik Patel.