PAAS leader Hardik Patel ended his fast on Wednesday in the presence of Khodaldham trust chairman Naresh Patel and other trustees of Patidar trusts. While breaking his fast, Patel said, "After 19 days, all the leaders of this community came and asked me that I will fight only if I'm alive. That is why I broke the fast. I am very grateful.for your support."
"It's the work of youngsters that they fight. It is the work of elders to give us direction," he added.
Speaking on his fight for the the farmers' right and quota for Patidar community, Patel said:
"Farmers have nothing. Our fight is not for luxury cars and bungalows. It's for the farmers. The ones who are struggling for education, for land for basic survival . This is respectful appeal to the government to focus on this. This can be done. Its not that difficult. It's difficult to survive without our rights. If I speak, I am anti national, if I don't speak I am a coward. I'd rather be the latter."
Accusing the police of arrogance the PAAS leader said, " We told DCP that please let people come when I break fast. But,they said that they take orders from BJP not from me. This arrogance is what's going to be their downfall. I only bow down to you, my leaders and my supporters. I don't bow to the government."
Speaking on the occasion, Patel also said that he doesn't care for either BJP or the Congress as it's the farmers he cares for, and also that after the 19-day log hunger strike, he is feeling stronger than ever.
"I don't care for BJP and Congress. It's the farmers who made development possible. I stayed in Jail, I was told I will be given bail. I ended up staying for nine months. I am feeling stronger than ever that all the leaders of this community have come together. We will continue this fight," said the PAAS leader.
As per a tweet issued by the official Twitter handle of Hardik Patel, his decision to end his hunger strike came after he was persuaded by the trustees and his supporters to break his fast to stay healthy for a longer battle.
“Kisano evam samaj ki kuldevi Shri Umiya Mataji mandir, Unjha aur Shri Khodal Mataji mandir, Kagvad ke pramukh logo ne mujhe kaha ki tumhe zinda rehke ladai ladni hai. Sab ka samman karte huye anishchit kalin upvas andolan ke aaj unnisve din dopahar teen baje upvaas andolan khatm karunga (Farmers and Patidar community’s deity Shri Umiya Mataji temple, Unjha and Shri Khodal Mataji temple, Kagvad’s leaders said to me that I need to stay alive to fight the battle. Respecting everyone, I am ending my indefinite fast movement today at 3pm on the 19th day of my hunger strike),” tweeted Hardik Patel.
Earlier on the 16th day of Hardik Patel’s indefinite fast, a scuffle broke out between Gujarat police and journalists outside the PAAS leader’s residence on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The scuffle broke out after the media reached his residence after they were alerted of a press conference to be held at Patel’s residence following his discharge from the SGVP hospital, wherein he had been admitted following a decline in his health on the 14th day of his hunger strike. However, when journalists tried to make their way inside Patel’s residence, following the latter’s arrival, they got shoved by the policemen present at the site. Soon after a scuffle broke out between the journalists and the cops.
Prior to this, Hardik Patel on 15th day of his fast sent out a message to his critics, saying, “I can die for those who love me and want to see me alive, however, I won’t die for those who want to kill me.”
The 25-year-old leader was on the indefinite hunger strike since August 25, the third anniversary of Patidar quota agitation, which had turned violent. The quota leader has been demanding loan waiver for farmers and reservation in government jobs and education for Patidars under other Backward class category.
A lot of political leaders and activists made a beeline to meet with Hardik Patel. A few of the leaders, who came to visit Patel, namely are Prakash Ambedkar, Harish Rawat, Sharad Yadav, A Raja, Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha, among others.