Gujarat Cabinet row: Nitin Patel breaks silence, says matter is about prestige

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Updated: Dec 30, 2017 6:41 PM

Silencing the rumour of resignation, Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel has said that he will not quit the state government over portfolio allocation issue.

ho was assigned lighter portfolios in the cabinet, has said that this issue is about prestige.

Silencing the rumour of resignation, Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel has said that he will not quit the state government over portfolio allocation issue. Patel, who was assigned lighter portfolios in the cabinet, has said that this issue is about prestige. “This is not about ministries. It is about respect. Will not quit,” Patel was quoted as saying by CNN News 18 in a Tweet. Earlier, it was reported that Patel was unhappy over the allocation of lighter portfolios to him and may soon quit the government. A big controversy erupted after Patel remained absent from his office after portfolio allocation by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

The controversy intensified as Patidar leader Hardik Patel made an offer to Nitin Patel. Hardik said that he can ‘talk to Congress’ and demand a good position for him if quits BJP with 10 MLAs. “If Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel along with 10 MLAs is ready to leave BJP, then will talk to Congress to get him a good position. If BJP does not respect him, he should leave the party,” Hardik was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

In previous Rupani government, Patel was holding the hefty departments of Finance, Petrochemicals, Urban Development and Urban Housing, Roads and Buildings, Capital Project, Narmada, and Kalpasar. This time, Rupani snatched from Patel the hefty departments of Finance, Petrochemicals and Urban Development and Housing from Nitin Patel. The two crucial portfolios of Finance and Petrochemicals have been assigned to Saurabh Patel, who is a high-profile minister in the government and is linked to Ambani family.

Saurabh, who has made a re-entry in Gujarat cabinet, curiously dropped when Rupani took over the reins the first time in August 2016. At that time, the Chief Minister has himself retained the Urban Development and Housing beat. Saurabh is the son-of-law of industry doyen Dhirubhai Ambani’s elder brother Ramnik Ambani. He won the Botad seat by a narrow margin of 900 votes. He was earlier an MLA from Akota constituency in Vadodara city.

Rupani’s council of minister was sworn in on December 26 in presence of Prime Minister Modi, party chief Amit Shah and chief ministers of all 18 BJP-ruled states. The portfolios were assigned late Thursday night.

 

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