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Unhappy over the allocation of portfolios in the new BJP government in Gujarat, state fisheries minister and Koli leader Purshottam Solanki on Wednesday skipped a Cabinet meeting. Demanding that "good" departments be allocated to their leader, Solanki's supporters, led by his brother and former BJP MLA Hira Solanki, gathered at the minister's residence at Gandhinagar on Wednesday. The disgruntled Koli leader told reporters that his community feels that he should be given some more portfolios. "I have not called the Koli community leaders. They came here on their own to express solidarity.
The Koli community feels that I should be given some more portfolios," Purshottam Solanki told reporters at his residence. After meeting his brother, Hira Solanki said the Koli community will convey its feeling to the BJP leadership. "Koli community is confident that justice will be done," he said. Earlier on Tuesday, Solanki had expressed displeasure over the department allocated to him and demanded "better" portfolios. He claimed that despite being a five-time MLA, he was ignored by the leadership while several "juniors" have been given "good portfolios". The Koli community strongman has been given fisheries department as a minister of state. Solanki held the same portfolio as an MoS in the previous government under Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. After assuming charge on Tuesday, Solanki had expressed his displeasure at being given only one department, stating that the chief minister was having 12 portfolios with him while other ministers were also heading many departments. "My Koli community wants that it should be given better representation in the Gujarat Cabinet," he had said, adding that he is the only minister from the Koli community in the state Cabinet. "2019 elections of Lok Sabha are approaching, before which Koli community will have to decide whom to support," Solanki had said.