Senior Koli leader Kunwarji Bavaliya, who was sworn in as a cabinet minister in the BJP government within hours of quitting as Congress MLA, has been allotted three portfolios — Water Supply, Animal Husbandry and Rural Housing — by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
While animal husbandry was earlier with Agriculture Minister R C Faldu, water supply was with Minister of State with independent charge Parbat Patel. The portfolios were announced after a cabinet meeting, attended by Bavaliya. Speaking to mediapersons after attending the meeting, Bavaliya said: “All of them (portfolios) are of my interest as they touch the issues of rural population…. On the basis of my 30 years’ in public life, I will prioritise the issues of the three departments… I am confident I will be able to do justice to all the three departments.” The five-time MLA denied reports that he was keen on getting education portfolio, currently held by Bhupendrasinh Chudasma. “Hu kam karto vyakti chhu. Hu game teni sathe adjust thai shaku em chhu. (I am a man of action. I can adjust with anybody),” he said on working in a government against which he has been critical for the last three decades.
On asked how will he function independently when most of the decisions of the state are allegedly taken from Delhi, Bavaliya said, “We will put this (request) before the honourable Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) that we also get opportunity to work independently at some points. And I believe that he will accept our request.”
Bavaliya said that he had received a message from BJP minister and another leader from his Koli community, Parshottam Solanki.
“I also tried to speak with him over phone. Since he is hospitalised, so we could not speak with him,” he said. Solanki, who is the Minister of State for fisheries, has been demanding cabinet status since the party came to power last year. Later in the day, Bavaliya took charge of his departments at Swarnim Sankul II after performing religious rituals.
Bavaliya, a five-time Congress MLA from Jasdan in Rajkot, had on Tuesday quit the party and hours later was inducted as a cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani government.