Gujarat Minister's Notes Ban Remarks Disowned By Seniors In Assembly

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Gujarat Minister's Notes Ban Remarks Disowned By Seniors In Assembly

Gujarat Minister Rohit Patel's remarks on demonetisation were removed from Gujarat Assembly records.

Gandhinagar: 

Highlights

  1. Gujarat minister Rohit Patel strays from government line on notes ban
  2. Senior interrupts him in assembly, says comments were minister's opinion
  3. Remarks expunged from Assembly, Chief Minister, others disown them
The Gujarat government found itself in a spot on Thursday after a minister apparently strayed from its line on notes ban. Answering a question from a legislator of the ruling BJP, Minister of State for Finance and Industry Rohit Patel expressed his views about demonetisation, the centre's ambitious drive announced last year to recall large value notes in an effort to curb corruption and tax evasion. Later, the comments were removed from the records by the Speaker and the state government forced to serve out multiple explanations.

Rohit Patel said he is in favour of further restrictions on high value notes. He also made some more comments on the issue which were expunged. When Mr Patel was answering questions raised by other members, Nitin Patel, who handles the Finance portfolio, interrupted him and told the House that whatever his junior minister has said was his personal opinion, not of that of the Gujarat government.

"Whatever views expressed by Patel were his own, not of Gujarat Government. It is the prerogative of centre as well as Reserve Bank India to decide which currency notes should be banned. The state government does not have any say in it," Nitin Patel said.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani asked Rohit Patel to stick to the point and give specific answer to the question instead of elaborating on the notes ban decision. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel too disowned comments made by the junior minister.

Taking a jibe at the BJP government over the goof-up, Leader of Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela asked Nitin Patel to make sure that his junior minister comes inside the House after doing some "homework", so that the government can save itself from making clarifications later.

Comments
Notes ban has been subject to searing criticism from the opposition which has accused the government of not considering its impact on the economy and leaving crores of Indians stranded without usable cash for weeks.

(With inputs from PTI)

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