Days after reports emerged that Nitin Patel was miffed over being stripped of his key portfolios, the Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister was allotted the finance ministry portfolio on Sunday.
The sulking minister, who remained absent from his office since the government took charge, came back to work earlier in the day after party president Amit Shah assured him that he will be given suitable portfolio.
“I have been assured that I will be given suitable departments, I also talked to Amit Shah ji over the phone. I thank him for the assurance,” Patel had said earlier in the day.
Patel, who is a senior BJP leader in Gujarat since past 17 years, held both Finance and Urban Development departments in the previous government.
In the current Cabinet though, he was allotted road and building, health, medical education, Narmada, Kalpsar and capital projects.
The finance portfolio was initially assigned to Saurabh Patel, while Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has kept the charge of urban development department to himself.
Patel, who was sulking since the announcement of portfolios in the new BJP government in the state, on Saturday said that the issue was about his “self-respect”.
Not only did Nitin Patel keep away from office most of Friday, Secretariat reports claimed that the veteran politician used his personal four-wheeler instead of the government vehicle and official escort.
The Deputy Chief Minister looked glum and lost even during the first joint press conference of the new Cabinet late on Thursday night and maintained an uncanny silence.
Rupani, however, had downplayed reports of his displeasure. "It is not true that the minister who has finance portfolio is number two in the cabinet. Nitin Patel is our senior leader and will remain number two," Rupani had said.