The condition of Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu, who is on an indefinite hunger strike demanding compensation for farmers, is said to have worsened on Monday but he has refused to take any medication, official sources said.
The former Andhra Pradesh chief minister was on Monday morning arrested and admitted to the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad.
Chandrababu is, however, continuing his hunger-strike for the fourth day in the hospital. "He is refusing to take any medication or diet and is taking only water. There is certainly some anxiety about his health," a senior official of NIMS said.
Principal Secretary (Health) P V Ramesh, who is also director (in charge) of NIMS, said a six-member expert team of doctors has been constituted to constantly monitor the Leader of Opposition.
"Given his health condition, Chandrababu should immediately call off his fast," Ramesh said. State Health Minister D L Ravindra Reddy said Chandrababu was shifted to NIMS only after his health condition deteriorated.
Chandrababu has been observing the indefinite hunger-strike for the last three days. "A group of ministers discussed Chandrababus health report and took the decision to shift him to hospital.There is no politics in the decision," the Minister maintained.
Naidu's blood sugar level had dropped significantly resulting in fluctuations in his heart beat, he said. The government was also consulting Chandrababu's family doctor Somaraju over his health.
Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh, Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh, CPI national deputy secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy and leaders of other parties visited NIMS and enquired about Naidu's health. Strongly deploring the arrest of the TDP chief, they demanded that the government immediately concede his demands and come to the rescue of distraught farmers.
Ajit Singh said the relief announced by Andhra Pradesh government to distressed farmers was only an "eye-wash".
"CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan is addressing a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding payment of enhanced relief to calamity-hit farmers immediately," Sudhakar Reddy said.
Meanwhile Naidu vowed to continue his stir until his demand for compensation for farmers is met.
In an open letter to farmers from NIMS hospital in Hyderabad, where he was admitted early on Monday morning, 60-year-old Naidu condemned the "brutal" police action against him and his party workers.
"I am not worried about my health. There is no question of ending my hunger-strike even if they admit me in hospital, lodge me in jail or rain blows with lathis. I am ready to do anything to wipe the tears from farmers' eyes," he said.
"Don't lose heart. We shall unitedly march ahead on the warpath and seek redressal of your grievances," Naidu said.
He claimed that he was forced to undertake an indefinite hunger-strike as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and his ministers "were busy camping in New Delhi, leaving the calamity-hit farmers in the lurch".
The leader of opposition in Andhra Pradesh assembly pressed for payment of Rs 10,000 per acre as compensation for paddy, Rs 15,000 for commercial crops and Rs 12,500 per acre for horticulture crops.
"More than 1000 police personnel descended on my hunger-strike camp and tried to break the fast that was undertaken in a most peaceful manner. They not only misbehaved with me and others but also brutally lathi-charged TDP MLAs, MLCs, senior leaders, women, students and other workers," he alleged.
Chandrababu expressed his gratitude to political parties, leaders, farmers and others "for expressing solidarity with him".