Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel assumes office, likely to get Finance Ministry

"I had requested the party that since I am deputy CM, give me respect and pride and that I should be given the responsibility according to that. So I thank the party for accepting my demand," said Nitin Patel

Written by RITU SHARMA | Ahmedabad | Updated: December 31, 2017 2:55:20 pm
Nitin Patel to get finance ministry in Gujarat cabinet Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel in a press conference in Ahmedabad (Express photo Javed Raja)

Hours after Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was assured of a portfolio as per his ‘demand’ that will ‘keep his respect and pride intact’ by the BJP national president Amit Shah, he assumed his office at 11.49 am Sunday.

Though the announcement of his new portfolios will be made at 2 pm today afternoon as Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will submit a letter for the same to Governor O P Kohli, Nitin Patel is expected to be allotted the Finance Ministry which is currently with Saurabh Patel.

The deputy CM, who has been given the portfolios of Health and Family Welfare,Medical Education, Roads and Buildings, Narmada, Kalpasar and Patnagar Yojana, had expressed his displeasure to party’s top functionaries and had not assumed his office since the announcement of portfolios on Thursday.

Addressing a press briefing at his residence in Ahmedabad, the deputy CM said, “Today morning at 7.30 am, BJP Chief Amit Shah called me up and assured me that they have accepted my demand so I should join my office today. Also, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will submit a letter to the Governor about the decision the party has taken.”

Straight after addressing a press briefing amid speculations, Nitin Patel headed for his office in Gandhinagar. Declining to have put forward any demand for a portfolio, he said, ” I have not put any demand for a ministry but only said that since I am deputy chief minister, in the last government was given finance and urban development portfolios which are not given this time, so I had requested the party that since I am deputy CM, give me respect and pride and that I should be given the responsibility according to that. So I thank the party for accepting my demand.”

Not revealing the new portfolios, Patel, who had spoken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, V Satish, senior party leaders, Gujarat ministers including cabinet ministers Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Kaushik Patel and Pradipsinh Jadeja, RSS emissaries Chintan Upadhyay and Hasmukh Patel, said that he has been assured that he will be given more portfolios in addition to what he has now and as per his request and pride.

Rubbishing talks about him leaving the party on the offer by Congress, Patel said, “Congress sees it as politically motivated and wanted BJP government to topple so that they can firm government. But they do not know that even in the last crisis (referring to the Patidar agitation) I was with the party. I am a BJP worker and remain one. Even when there was Jan Sangh and BJP was not formed since that time I have been a worker for the party.”

He thanked organizations like SPG Sardar Patel Group, headed by Lalji Patel, for visiting him on Saturday at his residence, and assured help and expressed his sympathy and support.

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