(IANS) Of the five Union Ministers of State dropped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his reshuffle on Tuesday, at least two — Ram Shankar Katheria and Mohanbhai Kundaria — seemed to have reconciled to their fate and reposed trust in the party leadership.
Besides Katheria and Kundaria, the other three dropped were: Sanwar Lal Jat (Water Resources), Nihalchand (Panchayati Raj) and Mansukh Bhai Vasava (Tribal Affairs).
Katheria told IANS that his exit from the union council of ministers has nothing to do with the controversial statements he made, which he continues to stand by.
He told IANS that perhaps the changes in the ministry were necessitated and the party will enlist his services on organisational assignments mainly in view of the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh.
“Mujhe lagta hai ki hum log sangathan mein kaam karenge, chunav hai to hum log jyada kaam karenge (I think we will work in the organisation, we will work more in view of the polls),” Katheria told IANS.
“It was necessary. What kind of reshuffle was needed in the government, I think, honourable Prime Minister did it.”
Katheria, who was minister of state for HRD, also said that he was being dropped from the council as “my party would need my services in the organisation. I will abide by the decision of the party leadership”.
Asked if he may be required to play a role in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, which are scheduled next year, the Agra MP said that nothing specific has been conveyed to him.
Katheria further said that BJP chief Amit Shah did not say anything particular about his role in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. “Whatever BJP chief and the party would decide, I would go by it.”
He maintained that it is wrong to say that he was dropped because of his controversial remarks.
“Whatever I said, I said in the nation’s interest and I stand by it,” Katheria said.
About a fortnight ago, while addressing a gathering at the Lucknow University, Katheria had said there would be “saffronisation of education and the country” which, he suggested, was being done because it was “beneficial” for the country.
“Whatever is good for the country will be done, be it saffronisation or Sanghwaad (propagation of RSS ideology),” the minister had said.
Gujarat’s Rajkot MP Mohanbhai Kundaria, who was Minister of State for Agriculture, said that he accepted the party’s decision.
“I accept the party’s decision. I am a soldier of the party which gave me several opportunities. I was five-time MLA in Gujarat and two-time MP. I was also made the party’s district president. The party’s decision is right,” he told IANS.