Now minister Parshottam Solanki rakes up portfolio allocation issue


Close on heels of the high-voltage political drama on ‘annoyance’ of DyCM and senior BJP leader from Patidar community Nitin Patel over allocation of portfolios, a minister from Koli community in the state has now come forward complaining about the portfolio allocated to him.

Five time MLA and Minister of State for Fisheries Parshottambhai Odhavjibhai Solanki today told newsmen here that his community (Kolis) were aggrieved at the allocation of only one department to him.

He also went to meet CM Vijay Rupani on the issue but later said that he could not express his sentiments clearly owing to the CM chamber being crowded today.
Meanwhile BJP high command as a seemingly quick damage control measure sent senior Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama (who had also played a key role in resolving Nitin Patel’s issue) to Solanki today. But Solanki seemingly outsmarted the move by repeating his claim that he was himself not angry but his community was aggrieved at the allocation of the sole portfolio this time around.

While Chudasama told newsmen in presence of Solanki that he had played pivotal role in making BJP popular among Koli community and could not be angry with the party but has only put forth his sentiment before the party which CM Rupani and the party leadership would take up in next 3-4 days, Solanki who looked adamant on his stand quickly reacted that his community wanted more portfolios for him.

He said that he has won from Bhavnagar Rural seat and it was the consecutive fifth term that he has won. ‘I have been given the single department of Fisheries unlike the last four times when I was also given the charge of Animal Husbandry department. This time I have been given just one Fisheries with which I can serve the people of coastal areas but with this only portfolio I won’t be able to serve the people of Rajkot and other non coastal areas. The people of my community want the government to do something about it. I should be given other portfolios too. I had met CM Vijay Rupani today but as his chamber was crowded we could not talk on the issue freely today,’ he said.

To a query as to what would he do if he was not given any other portfolio, he said that he won’t do anything but his community would take a call about it. On being asked as to how he can say that his community was angry about the matter he said that he was the only minister from the community in the government. ‘The community relates itself with me on the matter,’ he said.

Notably, this new issue would also create some ‘headache’ to the BJP government which has come to power in the state again but with a thin majority. Earlier, Nitin Patel was given Finance department additionally after intervention of party chief Amit Shah on his open expression of annoyance and not taking charge of his office even after passage of 4 days since taking oath and two days since allocation of portfolios.

BJP was now again on the horns of a dilemma as if it succumbs to Solanki’s pressure and given him additional portfolio, other voices including those of several time non-minister MLA’s might rise.


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