Ahmedabad: By sweeping all the rumors about his dissatisfaction over the given portfolios in Gujarat Cabinet headed by Vijay Rupani, the Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel announced on Sunday that he would take charge of the ministries allotted to him.
Speaking at a press conference Patel said, “I will go to the Secretariat and take charge of the ministries today. I have been assured that I will be given suitable departments. I also talked to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Amit Shah over the phone and I thank him for the assurance.”
Earlier on Saturday, rumors aroused that Patel was upset after the important finance and urban development portfolios were taken away from him. He claimed, “My fight is for prestige and not post. My respect and honor should be restored to the party.”
However, the crack in the new government was quite visible when Nitin did not assume office in the Sachivalaya in Gandhinagar on Friday. Following this allotted posts, the Patidar outfit SPG had called for a bandh in Mehsana on 1 January to show solidarity with Patel. Patel said that he did not support the call for a bandh by his well-wishers and requested them to withdraw it.
In the previous government, Patel handled key departments like finance and urban development. This time around he was allotted road and building, health, medical education, Narmada, Kalpsar and capital projects. The finance portfolio was instead allowed to Saurabh Patel, while chief minister Vijay Rupani kept the urban development department. Patel refused to take charge of his departments.
Significantly, following this Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor Hardik Patel offered to join hands with Patel on Saturday. He said, “If Nitinbhai along with 10 MLAs is ready to leave BJP, then I will talk to Congress to get him a good position. If BJP does not respect him, he should leave the party.”