Hardik Patel advises 'unhappy' Gujarat Dy CM Nitin Patel to join Congress

Tuesday, 02 Jan, 2018

The Patidar leader also exhorted BJP's Patel leaders to back the deputy chief minister. Express photo javed Raja.

Patidar leader Hardik Patel had asked the deputy chief minister to quit BJP and join Congress with his 10 MLAs. If that was so, sources said BJP chief Amit Shah ought to have consulted Patel before changing his portfolio. In the current Cabinet though, he has been allotted charge of departments like road and building, and health. "What was the reason to suddenly upgrade Saurabh Patel with a key portfolio, after dropping him from previous government just a year ago?"

While new minister Saurabh Patel, son-in-law of industry doyen Dhirubhai Ambani's brother Ramnik Ambani, was given the Finance and Petrochemicals that he had handled earlier, the Chief Minister retained Urban Development. "I thank him for his assurance and now I will assume charge", the MLA from Mehsana said in the morning. He took charge of his ministries on Sunday. "The issue that was going on for two days is over now". The opposition party, however, clarified that Thummar was speaking in his personal capacity and described the row over portfolio distribution as the BJP's "internal matter".

At his press conference, Nitin Patel said he had not demanded any ministry.

The Deputy CM said, "There is no question of my resignation".

"I have no complaints or dismay now", he added. But he was reemployed on a contract basis for two more years in chief minister's officer with a new designation-chief principal secretary.

Nitin Patel prays while taking charge at his office in Gandhinagar on Sunday. He then went to Mehsana, from where he won the election this time. I have been assured that I will be given suitable departments. "This has especially been the case with Patidar leaders like Keshubhai Patel, Anandiben Patel and Gordhan Zadaphia among others", state Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said. The PAAS leader offered to negotiate a deal between Nitin Patel and the Congress should the Gujarat Deputy CM walks away from the party along with his supporters. I had communicated to the party earlier and even during the Cabinet meeting that being a deputy CM I should be given appropriate portfolios. I am a BJP worker and will remain a BJP worker. If BJP does not respect him, he should leave the party, Hardik said on Saturday.