Ahmedabad: Lending support to Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel Patidar leader Lalji Patel on Saturday called for a Mehsana `bandh' (general strike) on January 1.
He also threatened to call for a state-wide bandh if Nitin Patel, who is miffed over the portfolios allotted to him in the new BJP government, was not made the CM of Gujarat. government,
Lalji Patel, who is convener of the Sardar Patel Group (SPG) which had launched the Patidar quota agitation along with Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, on Saturday called on the Deputy CM at his official residence in Gandhinagar with dozens of supporters.
"The BJP is repeatedly doing injustice to Nitin-bhai Patel. Today I met him with supporters from Mehsana, and we have given a call for Mehsana bandh on January 1 in his support," Lalji Patel told reporters.
Nitin Patel is MLA from Mehsana, which has a sizable Patidar population and which was the epicentre of the quota agitation.
"People of Gujarat and former CM Anandiben Patel wanted Nitin Patel to be made the CM (when Anandiben resigned). He was not made the CM but he accepted the decision and decided to work as Deputy CM. People are angry with the latest development. Nitin bhai is the right candidate for CM's post," he said.
"We met Nitin bhai.We asked him what is needed to be done. It is now for him to take the final call. He said the party's high command has said it will decide the matter in two days," the SPG leader said.
Meanwhile, Nitin Patel is yet to take charge of the portfolios allotted to him, with a source in the BJP saying he has conveyed his displeasure to the party leadership over the departments given to him, PTI reported.
In the previous government, Patel used to handle important portfolios like finance and urban development. However this time, he has been allocated charge of departments like road and building, and health.
Apart from these two, he has also given the charge of medical education, Narmada, Kalpsar and capital project after the portfolios were allocated on December 28.
This time, the finance portfolio was allocated to Saurabh Patel, while Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has kept the charge of urban development department with himself.
On the other hand, Patidar leader - Hardik Patel urged Nitin Patel on Sunday to quit the BJP along with 10 party MLAs and join the Congress for a "deserving" position.
Hardik said a "veteran politician" like Nitin Patel, was being "sidelined" and "not being given respect" by the BJP "despite working hard for 27 years".
The Patidar leader said if the Deputy CM was ready to quit the BJP, then he would speak to the Congress to give the latter the post he deserved.
(With PTI inputs)