New Delhi: Unhappy over the allocation of portfolios in the new BJP government in Gujarat, state fisheries minister and Koli leader Parshottam Solanki on Wednesday skipped a Cabinet meeting.
Demanding that their leader be allocated “good” departments, Solanki’s supporters, led by his brother and former BJP MLA Hira Solanki, gathered at the minister’s residence at Gandhinagar on Wednesday. “I have not called the Koli community leaders.
They came here on their own to express solidarity. The entire Koli community feels that I should be given some more portfolios,” Parshottam Solanki told reporters at his residence. After meeting his brother, Hira Solanki said the Koli community would convey its feeling to the BJP leadership. “Koli community is confident that justice will be done,” he said. Earlier on Tuesday, Parshottam Solanki had expressed displeasure over the department allocated to him and demanded “better” portfolios. He claimed that despite being a five- time MLA, he was ignored by the leadership while several “juniors” had been given “good portfolios”.
The Koli community strongman has been given fisheries department as a minister of state. He held the same portfolio as MoS in the previous government under Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. After assuming charge on Tuesday, Parshottam Solanki had expressed his displeasure at being given only one department, stating that the chief minister had kept 12 portfolios while other ministers were also heading many departments. “My Koli community wants that it should be given better representation in the Gujarat Cabinet,” he had said adding that he is the only minister from the Koli community in the state Cabinet. “2019 elections of Lok Sabha are approaching, before which Koli community will have to decide whom to support,” Parshottam Solanki had said.
First it was deputy CM Nitin Patel and fisheries minister Parshottam Solanki demanding better portfolios. Now, supporters of five-term MLA Jetha Bharwad want ministership for him. Bharwad, a co-operative leader and MLA from Shehra Assembly seat in Panchmahal district, is currently the vice-chairman of GCCMF and chairman of Panchmahal Dairy. A large number of his supporters gathered at Shehra BJP office on Wednesday to discuss their strategy. President of Shehra taluka panchayat Dr Kiransinh Baria said, “He is a five-term MLA and leading co-operative leader in Panchmahals, Dahod and Mahisagar districts. We feel he must be given importance by being made a minister.” Bharwad could not be contacted.