Cong MP Rajagopal ends his hunger strike

Congress MP L Rajagopal, who had escaped from one hospital to surface in another, ended his fast over the Telangana issue following Centre`s assurance.

Updated: Dec 22, 2009, 20:51 PM IST

Hyderabad: Congress MP L Rajagopal, who had escaped from one hospital to surface in another, on Tuesday, ended his fast over the Telangana issue following Centre`s assurance that it will take a suitable decision but cautioned he would resume the protest if the announcement is not satisfactory.

"I will start the fast if the Centre`s decision fails to arouse confidence," he told reporters here. The fast would be undertaken at Visakhapatnam in such a case, he told reporters here.
Rajagopal, who escaped from the Government Hospital in Vajayawada on Sunday in a dramatic fashion only to resurface yesterday at the Nizam Institute of Sciences (NIZMS), said his fast had effectively ended on December 19 itself when he was administered saline after being forcibly shifted to the hospital by police.

"I feel there are two types of fasts. One, a strict fast as practised by Mahatma Gandhi. Second, as TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao did, a modern-day fast by taking saline and IV (intravenous) fluids. By taking Total Parental Nutrition (TPN), one can do fast even for 30 years," Rajagopal said.
"So I did the fast for five days, seven hours. I lost six kgs weight. Whereas KCR did the fast for only one-and-half-a-day. You can check the medical reports of KCR," he said.

"If governments succumb to such pressure tactics, then everybody will start threatening," the Vijayawada MP said.

Rajagopal said he walked out of Vijayawada hospital and reached Hyderabad only to "prove the point that no citizen of the state should be stopped from coming to the Andhra Pradesh Capital".

"Hyderabad is not in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Police wanted to prevent me from coming to Hyderabad. I told the Chief Minister that I should either be sent back to the place where I was fasting or be admitted to Nizam`s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS)," the MP said.

Justifying his escape from the hospital despite presence of a large number of policemen, he said, "I was a free man. I was neither in police custody nor in judicial custody. The police force was deployed for providing security at the hospital in Vijayawada."

He said he had decided to get admitted to NIMS here after superintendent of Vijayawada government hospital recommended
that he be referred to a higher medical institute.

The Congress MP condemned the suspension of Vijayawada Police Commissioner Rajendranath Reddy and five other police officials for his "escape" from the hospital.