Days after reports emerged that Nitin Patel was miffed over being stripped of his key portfolios, the Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister took charge of his ministries on Sunday.
“I will go to Secretariat and take charge of the ministries today,” Nitin Patel said today.
The Deputy CM said that he had been assured of getting suitable departments by BJP president Amit Shah.
“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,” he said.
However, Patel didn't disclose whether he would be getting Finance or Urban Development departments which he held in the previous government.
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”.
In the previous government, Nitin Patel used to handle important portfolios like finance and urban development. In the current Cabinet though, he has been 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.
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.