New Delhi: Trouble seems to brewing in the recently formed Gujarat government. After senior BJP leader and deputy chief minister Nitin Patel expressed unhappiness over the changes in his portfolios, Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Saturday asked him to leave the BJP and join forces with him.
Speaking to reporters, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) chief said, “If the BJP does not respect him, he should leave the party. If Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel along with 10 MLAs is ready to leave BJP, then I will talk to Congress to get him a good position.”
Emphasising his demand for reservation for Patidars, Mr Hardik Patel added, “I would request Nitinbhai to only say for the benefit of the community that it should get reservation. We will work together for the betterment of the state.”
Though the Congress leadership in the state and at the Centre is watching the situation keenly but quietly, a new Congress MLA echoed Mr Hardik Patel’s sentiments.
Congress MLA Virji Thummar said, “They have taken away all the good portfolios from Nitinbhai Patel. His portfolios have been given to others. I would request Nitinbhai to come with 10-15 supporting MLAs and we (Congress) will support him from outside”
The BJP won 99 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. The Congress bagged an impressive 77 seats, 15 short of the magic mark, 92.
A prominent Patel leader, Mr Nitin Patel has been sulking over the allocation of portfolios to him and the taking away of the powerful departments of finance, petrochemicals and urban development from him.
On Friday, Mr Nitin Patel did not turn up at his office. Sources said that he had made his displeasure known to the central leadership of the BJP on being given “light weight portfolios” despite being the deputy chief minister. Reports indicate that he has given a deadline of three days to the party to consider his demands.
In the new government, he has got roads and buildings, Narmada, health, medical education and capital projects.
Sources said that while Mr Nitin Patel has met former chief minister Anandiben Patel, several Patidar leaders have either met him or are in touch with him....