January 15, 2021 6:11:40 pm
In an apparent reference to the power struggle within the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat, senior party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said attempts were made in the past to topple him, but “God and party workers saved” him each time.
Narrating an incident about his school days, Patel, while inaugurating the first flyover in Gandhinagar district at Uvarsad on Makar Sankranti, said, “I used to study at the Kadi Sarva Vidyalaya. I was thin and short… Teachers used to form (human) pyramids, where students stand on top of each other… Because of my height and weight, I used to be on the top (of the pyramid) and I got a chance to fly the tricolour. Similarly, you all bear our weight and we fly the flag. Everyone looks at the flag flying at the top of a temple; be it at Somnath or Dwarka. But at the foundation, there are large stones.”
Addressing the gathering consisting of party workers, Patel added, “You all take care of us. You don’t topple us. If the pyramid shakes, those at the top will fall and break their bones. We have to be very careful. People tried a lot to topple me. But every time, God saved me; you also saved me. If one tries to topple, there are 10 others who try to catch (save).”
Patel was the front runner to become the CM of Gujarat in 2016 after then CM Anandiben Patel stepped down. However, Vijay Rupani pipped Patel to become the CM, and he was made the deputy CM. He also handles health and finance portfolios.
Nitin Patel also listed out a number of development works carried out under his guidance in various departments. “We are doing these works as a team. No one person can do anything,” he added.
During the event, Patel also listed out the completion dates for various flyovers being built between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. “The flyover at Sargasan junction will be ready by the end of February 2021. The one at the InfoCity junction (at Gandhinagar) will be ready by March. The one at Khodiyar container depot will also be completed by February-end. The six-lane flyover between Sola junction to Zydus junction, which will be the longest in Gujarat covering more than 4 kilometres, will be inaugurated by July,” he added.
“Work on 58 railway overbridges are currently on… we will eliminate railway crossings,” he added. He said a second Rs 350-crore bridge on Narmada river that will link Bharuch with Ankleshwar will be completed by March. “Ninety per cent of the work is completed,” Patel said.
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