Ahmedabad: Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who is on an indefinite hunger strike for the quota demand, received support on Sunday from parties like the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
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.
Former railway minister and TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, representatives of the RJD, and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of Bihar leader Jitan Ram Manjhi called on Hardik Patel Sunday at his residence near Ahmedabad, the venue of the fast, to extend their support.
The opposition Congress in Gujarat had already supported Hardik Patel's demands while criticising the ruling BJP government.
The PAAS leader began the fast at 3 pm Saturday in the presence of his supporters and several Congress MLAs at his residence near Greenwood Resort.
A large number of women lined up Sunday at the venue to tie him a Rakhi on the occasion of Rakshabandhan. Bharat Bhushan Mandal, an RJD representative, said his party stood with Hardik Patel in his fight.
"Hardik is emerging as a national leader as the state government is trying to suppress his demand strongly," Mandal said.
"RJD leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav and others are likely to visit Hardik in the coming days," he said.
A medical team from a government hospital conducted his health check-up. A doctor, who was part of the team, said Hardik Patel's health is normal and that he was advised to take a liquid diet. His supporters sang 'bhajans' and observed a symbolic fast in his support at the venue.
Earlier in August, Hardik Patel had announced that he would sit on fast at a ground in Nikol area in Ahmedabad. However, the authorities denied him permission, saying the spot sought by the quota leader had been turned into a parking lot.
Hardik Patel then approached Gandhinagar collector, seeking Satyagrah Chhavni as an alternative place, but his request was turned down. Ahmedabad district magistrate had imposed section 144 of the Code of Criminal procedure (CrPC), preventing gathering of more than four persons.
After beginning his hunger strike, Hardik Patel had claimed the police detained 16,000 of his supporters and set up barricades and blockades on the highways leading to Ahmedabad to stall others from joining him.
However, Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) RB Bhrambhatt had put the number of people detained at 158.
A large number of police personnel have been deployed at the roads leading to Hardik Patel's residence where people visiting him are being subjected to intense checking.
Clashes had broken out during a quota agitation led by him on 25 August, 2015, leading to the death of 14 people and large-scale destruction of public property.
Updated Date: Aug 26, 2018 20:19 PM