Gujarat Minister of State seeks better portfolio and Cabinet rank.
After Nitin Patel, another BJP leader and Minister in the State government in Gujarat, Parshottam Solanki has now demanded “better” portfolio and Cabinet rank. He is a Minister of State (MoS) for fisheries, the department he handled several times in the past and his name had also figured in a multi-crore fisheries scam in the State.
Mr. Solanki on Tuesday startled the BJP leadership by publicly demanding Cabinet rank and an important portfolio, stressing that his community Kolis are influential in as many as 45 Assembly seats in the State.
“I have been winning since 1998 but I have always got such lightweight portfolios like fisheries. My community members are asking why no Cabinet rank and another better and important portfolio,” Mr. Solanki told media outside the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) where he came to meet the CM.
He warned that if the party did not take any corrective step, it will have to face the ire of the Koli community in the parliamentary polls in 2019.
“I am not unhappy but my community and its leaders are,” he said, adding “the community may rethink its support to the ruling party during parliamentary polls if not given its due.”
Though Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who formally assumed charge on Tuesday, did not meet Mr. Solanki, the CM is very “concerned” about such political developments that give a negative image of the government.
Mr. Solanki also took a dig at Mr. Rupani, saying, “The CM has a dozen portfolios. Why can’t he give some important ones to others.”
After his public remarks, the government rushed senior Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma to pacify him. “Parshottambhai is not unhappy about anything,” Mr. Chudasama told the media after meeting the junior Minister.
A legislator from Bhavnagar (Rural) Assembly seat in Bhavnagar district, Mr. Solanki is a strong Koli community leader. He and his brother Hirabhai both were legislators but in the recent polls, his brother lost from Rajula seat in Amreli district.