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Gujarat minister ready to quit if proved wrong

Gujarat Finance Minister Nitin Patel on Friday said he was ready to step down or retire from politics.

Gandhinagar: Gujarat Finance Minister Nitin Patel on Friday said he was ready to step down or retire from politics if Opposition proves that there was no visible development on the tourism front in the state.

"Our (BJP) government has developed tourism sector in the state, including all famous religious places, much better than past Congress governments and if they can prove otherwise I am ready to resign and will retire from politics," said Patel while replying in the Assembly during a discussion on supplementary demands.

He was visibly agitated by Opposition Congress member`s allegation that state government should have allocated more funds for development of tourist attractions in the state instead of spending crores of rupees, allegedly on publicity.

Congress MLA from Godhra C K Raulji, while proposing a cut motion on the supplementary demands of Rs 120 crore for the tourism sector said that, "instead of spending Rs 88 crore on the promotional film `Khushbu Gujarat ki` starring Amitabh Bachhan government should have spent that money on real development of the tourism infrastructure."

However, all the cut motions were defeated in the House by the voice vote and state Assembly had passed the supplementary demand of Rs 5,727 crore with the majority.

Earlier former Chief Minister and GPP MLA Keshubhai Patel had demanded to put forward a cut motion on the supplementary demand which was rejected by the Speaker.

"Government wanted Rs 11.38 crore for payment of the expenses on Sadbhavna mission and I had proposed a cut motion but Speaker had rejected my demand on the grounds that it is not in today`s agenda," Patel later said while talking to the media at his office in the Assembly.

"This clearly shows that government is getting funds from the back door and violating the principles of fiscal discipline," he alleged.