In what looks like a worrying development for the BJP, Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel on Saturday confirmed that he wasn’t happy with the allocation of portfolios in the new regime adding that the issue was about his “self-respect”.
Speaking to reporters, Patel, who is yet to take charge of the portfolios allotted to him, said he expected a proper response from the BJP high-command to his “feelings”.
“I have conveyed my feelings to the party high-command and I am hopeful that they will give a proper reply to my feelings soon,” Patel was quoted by PTI.
“This is not about some departments, this is about self-respect,” he added.
Narottam Patel, who was a minister in the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government, said Patel should be given portfolios “as per his stature”.
“Nitin bhai is not an ordinary minister,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Rupani skirted reporters’ questions on the issue.
Meanwhile, Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Saturday asked the deputy chief minister of Gujarat, Nitin Patel, 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 was quoted by ANI.
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.