Thiruvananthapuram: Bharatiya Janata Party leader CK Padmanabhan was shifted to the hospital after his health condition worsened. He went on a hunger strike organised by the BJP. On Wednesday he was arrested by Kerala Police and was shifted to hospital on doctor’s instructions. 

On December 3, Sobha Surendran took his place and went on a hunger strike following the directive of the BJP core committee. The BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai and several other prominent leaders of the party participated in the programme where Sobha took over. It is reported that she might continue the strike till December 22 in front of the secretariat.

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The Kerala BJP leaders began a sit-in hunger strike from December 3 in front of the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. Their main demands to the state government were withdrawal of prohibitory orders in Sabarimala and removal of heavy police deployment in the famous shrine.

From December 3, BJP leader AN Radhakrishnan had been starving for eight consecutive days. On December 10, Radhakrishnan was shifted to medical college hospital by the Kerala Police as his health worsened. Later Padmanabhan continued the indefinite fasting. 

Earlier, on December 13, an Ayyappa devotee committed suicide in front of the secretariat where the BJP leaders were protesting. The BJP also called for a state-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal on December 14 over his death. 

Regarding this issue, BJP leader MT Ramesh said that the Ayyappa devotee took this extreme step protesting the state government's attitude towards Sabarimala issue. According to him, the devotee was annoyed by the government’s irresponsible approach towards the BJP.

Speaking to media personnel, he said that the government has not been able to provide necessary security for the BJP leaders and the suicide attempt is testimony to this.