MeraNews network, Gandhinagar: Amidst chants and slogans of ‘Hardik Tum Aagey Badho, Hum Tumhare Saath Hai’ and ‘Bhajap (BJP) Tanashahi Nahi Chalegi…Nahi Chalegi’, Hardik Patel, the 25-year-old firebrand Patidar community leader and convener of Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) ended his fast-unto-death, which had stretched to 19 days on Wednesday. Prominent community leaders CK Patel, Naresh Patel, and Prahlad Patel made Hardik Patel drink some plain water, coconut water and lemonade to call off the fast, that he had begun to seek reservation for the Patidar community and farm loan waivers for Gujarat farmers.

‘The community wanted me to live to fight another day. They told me if I live, I can fight, and only if we fight, we will achieve what we are striving for,’ said Hardik after breaking his fast. Patel had received overwhelming support from the opposition parties as leaders like Paresh Dhanani, Amit Chavda, Alpesh Thakor from Congress, former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat, Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani. Other political heavyweights who dropped by Greenwood Resort, the place where Hardik was camping on his fast, include Shatrughan Sinha, Yashwant Sinha, Sharad Yadav, and former Gujarat CM Suresh Mehta.

High drama had ensued during the 19 days of the fast, but surprisingly, there was sparse media coverage about it in the electronic media. The state government was giving a cold shoulder to Hardik during the fast, who had to be rushed to Sola Civil hospital on the 14th day as he had stopped consuming water in order to intensify his stir. Media persons were manhandled by the police after a skirmish had broken out with the police outside the hospital.

Hardik added, “I would die for those who want me to stay alive, but won’t die for those who want to see me dead.”