AHMEDABAD: Patidar leader Hardik Patel is on the eleventh day of fast on Tuesday and has reportedly lost nearly 20 kgs of weight since he began his indefinite fast. A doctor attending to Patel said that he weighed 78 kgs when he began the fast and is now 58 kgs.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shatrughan Sinha, who is known for giving statements against the party line, is also due to visit Patel on Tuesday.
On the government's direction, Sola civil hospital has deployed a fully-equipped ambulance--'ICU on Wheels'--at the venue of the fast. He has said that he won't allow doctors to conduct his medical check-up "until the police stop harassing people visiting his residence".
He has been on a fast seeking reservation for Patidars and waivers on farm loans. He launched his hunger strike on August 25, on the third anniversary of his mega pro-quota rally in Ahmedabad that had turned violent.
Despite the fast going on for 11 days and reports of his health worsening, the BJP government in Gujarat has not yet intervened in the matter.
Hardik has been getting support from Opposition parties for his fast. Congress has urged the state government to end the deadlock by talking to the quota spearhead. "Hardik is fighting for farmers. His fight is for the betterment of Gujarat and its people. It is very unfortunate that the state government is not even ready to talk to him. I urge the government to establish a dialogue with Hardik and try to make him end his fast as soon as possible," Senior Congress leader Shakti Singh Gohil said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also extended his support to Hardik over the farm loan waiver demand. In a tweet, Arvind Kejriwal said, "Farm loans should be waived. Hardik Patel is fighting for poor farmers. All the farmers and the entire community is with him. I am sure that his penance will not be wasted. May god give him strength".
Meanwhile, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav had on Monday appealed to the 25-year-old Patidar leader to end his fast.
Two main religious bodies of Patidars - Umiya Mata Sansthan and Khodaldham - have also extended their support to the quota leader.
Since he began his fast, leaders from various political parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Hindustani Awami Morcha (HAM) have visited Hardik at his residence near Ahmedabad where he has been protesting.
Hardik had on Monday released his "will" in which he divided his property among his parents, a sister, 14 youths killed during the quota agitation in 2015 and a' Panjrapole' (shelter for ill and old cows) near his village.