Ahmedabad, Sep 2 : Anti-Narmada dam activist Medha Patkar was in for a surprise on Saturday when workers of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti ( PAAS) heckled her and prevented her from meeting Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who is on indefinite fast demanding reservation for the community in jobs and education.
‘Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Patkar on Saturday arrived at Hardik’s house to meet him. However, workers of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (or PAAS, which Hardik leads) did not allow her to meet him.
The 25-year-old Patel quota stir warrior has been on an indefinite fast for over nine days. Medha Patkar, who is an unwelcome face for many in Gujarat due to her stand on the Narmada project, which is hailed as the lifeline of Gujarat, was heckled and slogans were raised against her when she reached Patel’s residence on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
Hardik Patel’s supporters prevented Patkar from entering the premises. When the situation worsened, one of the close associates of Patel, Manoj Panara, requested her to return.
Although she maintained that she had reached the quota leader’s place on an invite from him, she had to drop the idea of meeting him. However, two of her close associates and veterans, Jyotibhai Desai and Danielbhai, later went in to meet Patel.
Meanwhhile, Hardik who is on the eighth day of his fast, has stopped taking water for the last two days. Medha Patkar said, “If Hardikbhai’s health deteriorates, then the fight won’t reach its logical end. He should start drinking water. I am here to support Hardik for his demands for farmers. We have an alliance of 200 farmer unions demanding total debt waiver and right price for their produce.”
Manoj Panara, however, claimed that no invite had been sent to Medha Patkar. “She had called Hardik, but that was just to ask his well-being. There was no talk about her meeting him,” Panara said.
Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda too called on Hardik and extended his support.
Meanwhile, Patel on Saturday began consuming water at the instance of a religious leader who had come to visit him. This was after medical check-up showed that sodium and potassium levels in his body had been disturbed and there was a rise in acetone in his blood, which could harm his kidneys.