Four new ministers inducted into Anandiben Patel's ministry
Gandhinagar: In the first ever expansion after she took charge as the Gujarat Chief Minister, four new ministers—two each of cabinet and state rank—were today inducted into the Anandiben Patel-led ministry including Purshottam Solanki, who has charges pending against him in the alleged fisheries scam.
With the induction of four ministers, the strength of Anandi Patel-led ministry has reached 24. Governor O P Kohli administered the oath of secrecy and office to Mangubhai Patel, Vijay Rupani, Jasha Barad and Solanki at a function in Raj Bhavan.
Former Deputy Speaker of Gujarat Legislative Assembly and six-time MLA from Gandevi seat (Patel), and former Rajya Sabha MP and MLA from Rajkot West (Rupani) took oath as cabinet ministers.
While, former fisheries minister and MLA from Bhavnagar -rural seat (Solanki), and MLA from Somnath assembly seat (Barad) took charge as state-ranked ministers. Solanki, who represents Koli community in the state, was dropped from the ministry by Patel when she took charge as the Chief Minister in May this year. He was a minister in the Narendra Modi government earlier.
However, after six months he has been re-inducted in the ministry despite court cases pending against him in the Rs 450 crore fishing contract scam.
“The government has now realised that who are the real representatives of the mass and therefore I am inducted again in the state cabinet,” Solanki said while answering a query on his re-entry in the state cabinet.
When asked about the charges he faced during his tenure as State Fisheries minister, Solanki dumped the allegations as baseless and said that it was all a hype created by media.
“There were no allegations on me, even my name was not mentioned in the FIR filed in the alleged fisheries scam,” Solanki said.
After being dropped from the state cabinet, Solanki had organised a huge public rally of Koli community in Gandhinagar.