Gandhinagar/Ahmedabad, Jan 17: Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Thursday for the high-profile three-day "Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019", pictures of Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel went missing from all posters and banners across the state capital Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad.
Posters, publicity material and invites related to the main event Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, besides Gujarat Global Trade Show, Ahmedabad Shopping Festival and a modern state-of-the-art Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital, which the Prime Minister is set to inaugurate on Thursday and Friday, do not have Nitin Patel's pictures.
Besides the posters with pictures of Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, there were names of Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel, Industries and Energy Minister Saurabh Patel, Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel and Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja on the invites of various events, but that of Nitin Patel.
Governor O.P. Kohli, Rupani and Bijal Patel welcomed the Prime Minister at the Ahmedabad airport as he landed on Thursday. Other state ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including state party President Jitubhai Vaghani were also present. Nitin Patel was missing here as well.
However, he was spotted with the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister later at various events in the afternoon.
Nitin Patel, meanwhile, told reporters that it does not make any difference to him. "It does not matter to me at all that my picture is not there. I am not at all upset with it," he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister added: "According to the Supreme Court's guidelines, there can be only two pictures on the publicity materials of the government's official events."
It is the media which raising such issues out of nothing, he said.
It may be recalled that the Deputy Chief Minister, who is learnt to be at loggerheads with Rupani, had kicked up a storm when he was denied the Finance Ministry in the cabinet reshuffle that took place earlier this year.
It was only on the intervention of BJP President Amit Shah that Nitin Patel was given the Finance portfolio, which he held earlier, too.
Earlier, Nitin Patel, who is the senior-most Minister, was tipped for the post when Rupani was made the Chief Minister after his predecessor Anandiben Patel had stepped down in 2016.
Nitin Patel was not only prepared to be the Chief Minister but had already started giving interviews to TV channels.
However, he was dropped at the 11th hour at the behest of Shah.
Image Courtesy: Google Image