Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Sunday was given the finance ministry portfolio after he refused to attend office understandably in protest against the new allocations of ministries.
After sulking for two days and triggering protests from the Patels, Patel on Sunday also joined Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s cabinet saying BJP President Amit Shah had pledged to restore the key portfolios taken away from him.
Patel assumed charge as a cabinet minister in Gandhinagar, shortly after Shah made the promise to the seven-time MLA who revolted after the portfolios of Finance, Petrochemicals and Urban Development were snatched from him and he was given ministries of lesser importance, including Health and Family Welfare.
Patel on Saturday had confirmed that he wasn’t happy with the allocation of portfolios in the new regime adding that the issue was about his “self-respect”.
Patidar leader Hardik Patel had asked the deputy chief minister to quit BJP and join Congress with his 10 MLAs.
If Gujarat Deputy CM 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 had said.
This was after Patel skipped office on Friday as reports emerged that the deputy chief minister was miffed at being given light portfolios. He was holding high-profile ministries of Finance, Petrochemicals, Urban Development and Urban Housing, Roads and Buildings, Capital Project, Narmada, and Kalpasar in the previous government.
Finance, Petrochemicals and Urban Development and Housing ministries have been taken away from him in the new regime. While the Finance and Petrochemicals porfolios have gone Saurabh Patel, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani himself have kept the responsibilities for Urban Development and Housing departments.
Saurabh, the son-of-law of industry doyen Dhirubhai Ambani’s elder brother Ramnik Ambani, was dropped by Rupani after he took control of the government replacing the then chief minister, Anandiben Patel.