In a sudden development, driven presumably by the BJP High Command, two ministers in the Bhupendra Patel government were divested of their portfolios on Saturday night.
It is not even a year since Bhupendra Patel of BJP was sworn in as a Chief Minister and the entire cabinet was replaced to wash away the negative image of then chief minister Vijay Rupani and his ministerial colleagues.
However, following representations made to the High Command, Ministers Rajendra Trivedi and Purnesh Modi were divested of the most important portfolios in their kitty.
Gujarat Assembly elections are likely to be held in December and the High Command did not want any negative perception of the present government which is believed to be a reason for the sudden change.
Rajendra Trivedi a minister from Vadodara was divested of the revenue department while Purnesh Modi has been divested of the housing and roads department. Rajendra Trivedi will continue to hold law and justice, disaster management and legislative-parliamentary affairs departments. His biggest portfolio was however the revenue department. The firebrand minister had conducted several raids and unearthed scams of people forging signatures to become farmers besides illegal and fraudulent land ownership documents. The Minister set a precedent and physically remained present and conducted at least 8 raids personally. Sources say that these raids upset several influential people in the builder lobby.
In the case of Purnesh Modi who is from Surat, there were complaints made that he was trying to grow bigger than his size, an issue that most in the BJP in the current scenario do not approve of. He had his own app launched and was much visible on several posters and hoardings.
While Rajendra Trivedi’s portfolios have been given to Harsh Sanghvi, Purnesh Modi’s portfolios have been given to Jagdish Chavda.
This is the first time that portfolios have been changed just before less than 100 days of Assembly elections in Gujarat.