New headache for Rupani: After Nitin Patel, another minister expresses displeasure over portfolio

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Gandhinagar, Gujarat: In yet another headache for the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat government, five-term MLA Parshottam Solanki on January 2 expressed his displeasure on the allocation of portfolios. Solanki, who is a Koli, said the inadequate representation of the community in the council of ministers had hurt its sentiments. After deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Solanki is the second minister to have voiced his resentment at the allocation of portfolios in the cabinet.
Solanki, 56, MLA from Bhavnagar, has been allocated the Fisheries Department and has been conspicious by his absence from Swarnim Sankul 1 & 2 in Gandhinagar, which houses the offices of the CM, deputy CM and state ministers. However, the MLA called upon Rupani on January 2 and expressed his displeasure over being allocated just one portfolio.
“I have been elected as an MLA for the fifth term and yet I have been given just one portfolio of fisheries. This has hurt the sentiments of the Koli community. The Koli community should be given adequate representation in the government. Either I should be given some more portfolio(s) or some other Koli leader should be included in the cabinet,” Solanki told the Indian Express.
When asked about his meeting with Rupani, Solanki said there were about 100 people already there to speak to the CM and thus he could not discuss the matter at length. He also told me that he will call and meet me in next 4-5 days,” he said.
However, the MLA said he had not yet decided his next move in case his “feelings” were not honored. “The Koli community will decide that,” Solanki said. The 56-year-old is facing a Rs 400 crore corruption case related to fishing contracts that he awarded when he was the fisheries minister in the previous government. The matter is pending at a court in Gandhinagar.
Meanwhile, Solanki’s statements have created ripples in the political circles of Gandhinagar and senior minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama rushed to meet the Bhavnagar MLA at his office to placate him. “Parshottambhai is not unhappy. He has put forward his point. And the CM has told him that we will think over it…His (Solnaki’s) intention is not to put the government in jeopardy,” Chudasama said.
Just two days back, Deputy CM Nitin Patel had stayed away from taking charge of his office in the new government while expressing his resentment over the portfolios allotted to him. Following Patel’s displeasure, BJP president Amit Shah had intervened and gave Patel the charge of the Finance Ministry.

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