Unhappy over the allocation of fisheries department to him, Koli strongman and Minister of State Parshottam Solanki on Wednesday stayed away from the Cabinet meeting. Instead, he met a number of Koli community leaders, led by his younger brother and former MLA Hira Solanki, at his official bungalow here.
“I did not call the Koli community leaders. They came here on their own to express solidarity. The Koli community feels that I should not get fisheries department when other ministers are getting better departments,” the minister told reporters.
When asked about why he had skipped the Cabinet meeting, Solanki replied, “Don’t ask me anything. Ask them, the leaders of the (Koli) community,” Solanki added. Solanki, who held the same department in the previous BJP government, had expressed his displeasure at the allocation of portfolios after meeting Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday. “My Koli community wants that it should be given a better representation in the Gujarat cabinet,” he had said, adding that he is the only minister from the Koli community in the state cabinet.
Meanwhile, his brother Hira said, “Around 1,500 people from the Koli community, including some leaders, had gathered today. It is our feeling that Parshottambhai should get a better portfolio. The community will decide future course of action in the coming days.” “The Chief Minister and senior minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama have spoken with Solanki, and a compromise will be reached soon,” said a senior BJP leader on condition of anonymity.