Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel (Photo Credit: IANS)
New Delhi :
A Congress MLA from Lathi (Amreli), Virji Thummar, has offered Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel the post of chief minister if he defects to the grand old party with 15 BJP lawmakers, reported IANS. "The Health Minister, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, Nitin Patel, is doing a good job and we support him. But their own party does not. I offer him to defect to Congress along with 15 other BJP members and we will be ready to make him the Chief Minister of Gujarat," the Congress MLA said while speaking in the state Assembly. Thummar later told reporters that he had made this offer to Patel in his personal capacity.
In reply, the deputy chief minister told the House, "I don't want to go anywhere. Congress should stop daydreaming. I have been misinterpreted."
Patel was referring to his speech on February 29 at a function to lay the foundation stone for 'Maa Umiya Temple' - the proposed tallest temple to be built in Ahmedabad. "I have reached here at this junction only because of the blessings of Maa. Otherwise everybody knows that I am on the one side, whereas everybody else is on the other side," Patel had said.
In the 182-member House, the ruling BJP has 103 MLAs and the Congress 73. Vijay Rupani is the incumbent chief minister of the state. Meanwhile, the BJP termed Thummar’s offer as a ‘mischief’.
“They (the Congress) misinterpreted Patel’s statement and are now trying to mislead the people of the state,” said Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani.
He said the Congress was playing mischief by making such statements, as they are out of power for the last 27 years and are desperate to make a comeback.
“Patel is a senior leader who does not require suggestions from the Congress party,” Vaghani added.
After the 2017 Assembly elections, Patel was in the race to become the next chief minister, but the BJP brass retained Rupani.
With Agency Inputs