A day after he had a verbal clash with Congress MLA from Dehgam, Kaminiba Rathod, in the House, senior cabinet minister in Anandiben Patel government, Nitin Patel, Tuesday tendered an unconditional apology before the state Assembly. He termed the episode a “rare” incident. Patel called his own words “unnecessary” and “excessive” while tendering the unconditional apology.
Interestingly, Patel’s apology followed a written complaint by Rathod to the Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava on Monday, seeking permission to lodge a police complaint against Patel for criminal intimidation and attack on her character.
On Monday, Patel had a verbal spat with Rathod when the latter was speaking on the motion of thanks on Governor’s address to the Assembly. Rathod was criticising the alleged unnecessary expenses incurred on the DGPs and IGs meet in Dhordo when Patel had intervened, asking the former to be careful when talking on issues of national security. This was followed by some personal arguments between Patel and Rathod which were later removed from the record of the House by the Speaker.
However, the issue snowballed into a controversy when Opposition demanded apology from Patel. Around 45 Congress MLAs were suspended by the Speaker from the House for a session and the rest staged a walkout on the issue. Subsequently, following a meeting with the Speaker, chief whips of Congress and BJP, Patel and Rathod, the two had “withdrawn” their words. Following the incident, Congress workers had burnt an effigy of Nitin Patel in Dehgam.
Meanwhile, Rathod had also given a written complaint to the Speaker, seeking his permission to lodge an FIR against Patel. In her complaint, Rathod said that the senior minister had not only intimidated her in the House, but also attacked her character. She also welcomed the Speaker’s decision of removing those “indecent utterances” by the minister. In her letter, Rathod added that she was feeling very afraid due to the threat voiced by the senior minister and to protect her constitutional right, she wanted the Speaker’s permission to lodge a police complaint against him.
On Tuesday, following the Question Hour, Nitin Patel rose on his seat and said that he was going to do something which was very rare for Gujarat Assembly. He then said that it was his habit of introspecting on every day’s events before going to bed.
“Yesterday, before going to sleep, I felt that being a senior member of the House and a minister what I said was unnecessary and excessive. So, I tender one-sided apology before the House for the words I spoke and express regret.” The chief whip of Congress, Balvantsinh Rajput, and senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil welcomed the senior minister’s gesture and congratulated him for the same.