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Published On: Sat, Dec 30th, 2017

Nitin Patel gets an offer from Patidar leader Hardik Patel

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nitin_nu_760_1496661437_618x347AHMEDABAD :  Patidar leader Hardik Patel who had aggressively campaigned against the BJP in the Gujarat elections, today attempted to exacerbate the birth pangs of the state’s new government led Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who is struggling with a sulking deputy, Nitin Patel.

Hardik Patel has jumped into  infighting between Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel and his boss Vijay Rupani. Nitin Patel, who is reportedly unhappy with portfolio allotted to him, has expressed his anger to the party.
The deputy CM , as per report, has offered to quit within three days if he is not given the desired portfolios. Jumping into the controversy, Hardik Patel has said that he can ‘talk to Congress’ and demand a good position for him if quits BJP with 10 MLAs.If BJP does not respect him, he should leave the party,” Hardik was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Earlier, news agency IANS reported that Nitin Patel was miffed after being given “light-weight” portfolios. The report said that the deputy CM remained absent from his office. Earlier, Patel was holding the hefty departments of Finance, Petrochemicals, Urban Development and Urban Housing, Roads and Buildings, Capital Project, Narmada, and Kalpasar, in the previous regime. In the regime, Rupani has snatched the hefty departments of Finance, Petrochemicals and Urban Development and Housing from Nitin Patel.

The crucial portfolios of Finance and Petrochemicals have been given to Saurabh Patel, who is a high-profile minister in the government and is linked to Ambani family. Patel was curiously dropped when Rupani took over the reins the first time in August 2016. At that time, the Chief Minister has himself retained the Urban Development and Housing beat. Saurabh Patel, who has gained a re-entry in the cabinet, is the son-of-law of industry doyen Dhirubhai Ambani’s elder brother Ramnik Ambani. He won the Botad seat by a narrow margin of 900 votes. He was earlier an MLA from Akota constituency in Vadodara city.
News agency IANS further reported that Nitin looked glum and lost even during the first joint press conference of the new Cabinet late on Thursday night. The meeting had itself started after a delay at 9 p.m. in the wake of arguments over portfolio distribution. Besides Nitin Patel, former senior cabinet Minister Babubhai Bokhiria from Porbander and former Minister of state from Vadodara Rajendra Trivedi expressed their anger at being dropped.
The 61-year-old Deputy CM is learnt to be feeling slighted at his boss taking away key portfolios such as finance and urban development, and replacing them with health and education, among others.
Nitin Patel hasn’t spoken about his disappointment in public but he is learnt to have dropped clear hints to his close supporters that he might contemplate quitting the government too.
Hardik said, an offer that is seen as an attempt to emphasise that the BJP did not give its most prominent Patel face a fair deal either. Nitin Patel, who first became the state’s health minister back in 1995, was upgraded as a Deputy C M in 2016 when the BJP decided to drop Anandiben Patel as Chief Minister. The upgrade was meant to signal that the Patel community would continue to get a good deal from the BJP.

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