GUNTUR: Andhra Pradesh politician Jaganmohan Reddy was bodily lifted from a platform and taken to hospital on Monday as his health deteriorated on the seventh day of an indefinite fast.
The 42-year-old chief of the YSR Congress has been on a protest fast at a village in Guntur to press for special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
A little after 4 am on Tuesday the police came and forcibly took Mr Reddy to a government hospital. Doctors say he will be monitored for 24 hours.
Hundreds of supporters have been camping at the site where Mr Reddy began the fast on Wednesday last.
"He can barely speak and his sugar levels have dropped," a YSR Congress leader said.
On Tuesday, many of them were furious at comments by Health Minister K Srinivas, which appeared to question whether Mr Reddy was really fasting.
Mr Srinivas had pointed out that Mr Reddy's sugar levels showed variations and said he would have it investigated.
Mr Reddy has been targeting Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for not pushing for special status for the state, which, he said, was promised when Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated to create a separate Telangana.
The Chief Minister's Telegu Desam Party is an ally of the ruling BJP.
Mr Reddy had challenged Mr Naidu to press the Centre to grant what was promised to the state or withdraw support to the Modi Government.
"This fast is for the people of Andhra Pradesh, to increase job opportunities for the youth, to improve infrastructure facilities and provide a better future for the citizens," Mr Reddy said in a statement.
Special status would bring a large infusion of funds to the state, the YSR Congress leader says.
The central government has asked the rejigged plan panel, the NITI Ayog, to look into special status and other benefits promised to Andhra Pradesh.