Guj govt distances itself from minister’s remarks on note ban


Gujarat Minister Rohit Patel faced embarrassment when Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel disowned his comments made today in the Assembly about note ban, following which the Speaker expunged his comments from the records.

Rohit Patel, who is the Minister of State (MoS) for Finance and Industry in the BJP government, expressed his views about demonetisation while answering BJP MLA Zankhana Patel’s query about VAT income.

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Rohit Patel said he is in favour of further restrictions on high value notes. He also made some more comments on the issue, which were later removed from the records.

Sensing the gravity of his minister’s comments, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani asked him to stick to the point and give specific answer the question instead of elaborating on the note ban decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November last year.

When Patel was answering some sub-questions raised by other members, Nitin Patel, who handles the Finance portfolio, interrupted him and told the House that whatever his junior minister has said was his personal opinion, not of that of the Gujarat government.

“Whatever views expressed by Patel were his own, not of Gujarat Government. It is the prerogative of Centre as well as Reserve Bank India to decide which currency notes should be banned. The state government does not have any say in it,” Nitin Patel said.

Taking a jibe at BJP government over the goof-up, Leader of Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela asked Nitin Patel to make sure that his junior minister comes inside the House after doing some “homework”, so that the government can save itself from making clarifications later.

Later, Speaker Ramanlal Vora expunged Rohit Patel’s comments on notes ban from the records.

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(With inputs from PTI)


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