(Reporting by Kamalika Sengupta)
AHMEDABAD: Patidar community leader Hardik Patel's right hand was covered with rakhees on the second day of his indefinite fast on Sunday. Among them was a rakhee that was sent to him by West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
Hardik tweeted about receiving the rakhee, saying, "West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sent a rakhee on this auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan. Didi's rakhee was brought to me by WeSt Bengal MP Dinesh Trivedi, who visited the venue of the fast. He was shocked at the dictatorship being run by the BJP."
पश्चिम बंगाल के मुख्यमंत्री @MamataOfficial ने रक्षाबंधन के पवित्र त्योहार पर राखी भेजी,दीदी की राखी लेकर पश्चिम बंगाल के सांसद दिनेश त्रिवेदी उपवास आंदोलन की छावनी पर उपस्थिति रहे।भाजपा की तानाशाही देख वो स्तब्ध हो गए। pic.twitter.com/gOghe3gz1W
— Hardik Patel (@HardikPatel_) August 26, 2018
Trivedi also conveyed to Patel, his party's support for the demand for reservation for Gujarat's powerful Patidar community. "The people are with Hardik. We are with him. Mamata di has sent her rakhee to Hardik. The entire nation is with Hardik," he said to reporters after meeting Patel. "It feels like Ahmedabad is under British rule," he added, referring to the heavy security blanket across the city in view of Patel's fast.
Patel began his indefinite fast on Saturday to press the demand for reservation for the Patidar community. He has since been visited by leaders from opposition parties who are making efforts to form a strong political front to take on the Narendra Modi government in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Apart from Trivedi, Patel also received solidarity visits from RJD's Bharat Bhushan Mandal and Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Hardik's fast is meant to mark three years since the agitation demanding reservations for Patels brought Gujarat to a halt. He had sought permission from the local administration to hold the fast at a public venue, but all the locations he had proposed had been turned down. Patel began his fast at his residence, which has been placed under tight security.