Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: Every new election result sees heads roll in different ministries at the state and central governments. With BJP marching towards a thumping win Karnataka assembly polls today, there are going to be similar repercussions too, including in Gujarat. There have been talks of a probable cabinet reshuffle in Gujarat government even before the results in Karnataka were to be declared. One of the top ministers who might face the brunt this time would the Dy CM of Gujarat Nitin Patel, though it is not sure whether he would be dropped completely or would be shifted to some other posting. According to highly placed sources, Patel has been informed of the decision in advance.
There can be two reasons behind this decision. One, that Nitin Patel had played hardball during the allotment of ministries while forming the Vijay Rupani government, which didn’t go down well with PM Narendra Modi. Another reason that has been doing rounds is that he has been convinced to give up his plum post of Dy CM so that he can be fielded in the upcoming Loksabha elections in 2019.
Even though there is one whole year remaining for the general elections, PM Modi is keen to make improvements in his home ground Gujarat. The leaders at the center believe that CM Vijay Rupani is struggling to maintain BJP’s vote bank in Gujarat despite him being given a second shot as a CM in the state, but there are no chances of the chief minister being changed in the reshuffle. As usual, nobody has been able to read PM Modi’s mind game so far. Sources claim that because Rupani is an Amit Shah confidante, he might not come under the firing line, but Nitin Patel is surely going to face the axe this time. The growing gulf between Nitin Patel and PM Modi and Amit Shah has been clearly visible during the duo’s visits to the state.
This reshuffle is being made keeping in mind the 2019 General Elections and many top ministers could get dropped and new faces might get introduced to the cabinet.