Hyderabad: Politician Jagan Mohan Reddy, who had been on a hunger strike for five days to protest against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, was forcibly moved to the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) tonight after the police took him into preventive custody. (First pics)
Before he was escorted away from outside his office where he has been fasting, Mr Reddy told a large crowd of supporters "2014 will be a referendum" on the centre's decision to turn the region of Telangana into a state. (Track LIVE updates)
Earlier today, doctors said that the 40-year-old was severely dehydrated but he refused to end his fast.
In Delhi this evening, his mother, Vijayamma, met BJP president Rajnath Singh, triggering speculation that an alliance between the two parties is a work-in-progress. Recently, Mr Reddy, who was released last month from jail and is being investigated for corruption, praised the BJP's candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, as an efficient administrator. However, Mr Reddy urged the BJP leader to demonstrate his commitment to secularism.
Since Mr Reddy took charge of the YSR Congress party in 2011, he has proven that he is an emerging force in regional politics with strong performances in local elections.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that an alliance with Mr Reddy could be considered by his party after the national elections are held. But Mr Reddy has been less kind towards the party that his father belonged to.
Over the weekend, he targeted its president Sonia Gandhi for the decision to split Andhra Pradesh into two because "someone wanted their son to be Prime Minister." The reference was to her son, Rahul, and to the recurring criticism that the Congress wants to create a Telangana state for dividends in the national elections, due by May.