Updated: September 13, 2021 6:02:01 am
Outgoing Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Sunday said that as long as he receives the love of the people, he will not be “ousted”.
Speaking at an event in Mehsana after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced Bhupendra Patel as Gujarat’s new chief minister, Patel congratulated the successor of Vijay Rupani and dismissed media reports speculative of him being considered for the CM post.
In 2016, too, when Anandiben Patel resigned from the top post, Nitin Patel was among the front runner to be the CM, but then party president Amit Shah had his way go get Vijay Rupani as the CM.
In 2017, when Rupani was re-elected as the chief minister, Nitin Patel expressed his displeasure openly over the allocation of portfolios and refused to take charge of the ones allotted to him. He took charge of them only after the intervention of the top party leadership and allocation of finance portfolio to him. On Sunday, too, there were speculations that Nitin Patel was unhappy over him not being selected as the CM.
“The new chief minister Bhupendra Patel is our friend, he is among us and he is a karyakarta like all of us. We have worked together in the past and his name has been chosen as the CM by the party. He is my friend, I have inaugurated his office, let anyone think anything about us. The media can speculate anything. I told them (media) in the morning that your job is to speculate, but the decision will be taken by the party,” said Patel.
“I saw media stories about whether I will be ousted now. I want to state that till the time I am in the hearts of the public, karyakartas and voters, nobody can oust me. I have served in the opposition for a long time and have worked for the party for 30 years,” Patel added.
Patel was in Mehsana to inaugurate the newly made “Kamal Path” road stretch connecting Mehsana-Radhanpur highway to Modhera road, built at Rs 62 crore.
When asked by reporters on speculations of him becoming the CM, Patel said, “I have already stated that media has the right to speculate… but the decision is always taken by the party. I am delighted to say that my friend and neighbour from Ghatlodia constituency Bhupendra Patel has been chosen as the new CM… I congratulate him for the same.”
When asked about his role in the new cabinet, he said, “I can’t comment on that as the chief minister will decide the new cabinet under the guidance of national leadership.”
Patel had courted controversy over his recent remarks that talks of Constitution and secularism will be there in India as long as Hindus are in majority and that it would be buried the day the population of Hindus decreases.
When asked whether he received any threats over the remarks, he said , “I have got several threat calls from known and unknown numbers…”
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