Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Saturday said that the Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister should leave the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and join the Congress where he might get a good position. In a statement to ANI, Hardik said: “If Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister 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’s statement comes after PTI quoted a BJP source as saying that even after being sworn into office, Nitin Patel is yet to take charge of the portfolios allotted to him and has conveyed his displeasure to the party leadership. In the previous government, the deputy chief minister was in charge of important portfolios such as finance and urban development.
However, this time he has been allotted departments like road and building, and health. Apart from these two, he has also been given the charge of medical education, Narmada, Kalpsar and capital project after the portfolios were allotted on December 28.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Narottam Patel visited the Gujarat deputy CM and sought to placate him. “Nitinbhai Patel is Gujarat deputy CM and a very able leader. Came here to meet him because of him being upset as he didn’t get departments he wanted. I want the party to think over giving him departments of his choice,” ANI quoted Patel as saying.
When asked if the Deputy CM was mulling resignation following the offer from Hardik, Patel said, “No, he didn’t say any such thing (of resignation). I know he is upset and that’s why I am here. This is a mistake, and must be rectified.”
The finance portfolio has been allotted to Saurabh Patel, while Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has kept the charge of urban development department with himself. Rupani has also kept information and broadcasting and home ministry. BJP formed the government for the sixth consecutive term after winning the recently held state assembly election where it managed to bag 99 seats out of 182.