Vijay Rupani Sworn In As Gujarat Chief Minister; 9 From Anandiben Cabinet Dropped
Vijay Rupani was on Sunday sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Gujarat heading a 25-member ministry in which nine from the previous cabinet, including some considered as loyalists of his predecessor Anandiben Patel, were dropped
Photo Credit : PTI
Vijay Rupani was on Sunday (07 August) sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Gujarat heading a 25-member ministry in which nine from the previous cabinet, including some considered as loyalists of his predecessor Anandiben Patel, were dropped.
Nitin Patel took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister, a post created for the first time in the state which goes to polls next year.
Governor O P Kohli administered the oath of office and secrecy to 60-year-old Rupani, a first time MLA who is considered close to BJP president Amit Shah, and Nitin Patel at a grand ceremony attended by top BJP leaders. Rupani is the 16th chief minister of Gujarat.
Ahead of 2017 Assembly polls in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, BJP appears to have tried to strike a caste balance by inducting eight Patel leaders, eight OBCs, three from Kshatriya community, two representatives of tribal community and one each from Brahmin, Jain, Sindhi and Dalit communities in the new council of ministers.
There is also an attempt to give representation to all regions: Saurashtra, north, south and central Gujarat. The cabinet has only one woman, Nirmala Wadhwani, MLA from Naroda.
Eight cabinet-rank ministers, including Nitin Patel, and 16 ministers of state in all were sworn in. The total strength the ministry including the Chief Minister is 25.
A devoted RSS member since his school days, Rupani, hailing from politically significant Saurashtra region, is known for his hard work but keeps a low profile.
The ceremony was held at Mahatma Mandir here in the presence of top BJP leaders including its president Amit Shah, veteran leader L K Advani, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana -- Devendra Fadnavis, Raghubar Das and Manohar Lal Khattar, respectively -- were also there. Anandiben Patel was also present.
Former Minister of State for Home Rajnibhai Patel and Women and Child Development Minister Vasuben Trivedi, both considered as loyalists of Anandiben, were dropped from the new cabinet.
Others who were dropped from the ministry include Finance Minister Saurabh Patel, Social Justice Minister Ramanlal Vora and MoS for Science and Technology Govind Patel.
Talking to reporters after the oath taking ceremony, Rupani indicated that allocation of portfolios may take place tomorrow. "Our first cabinet meet will take place tomorrow.
We will discuss the roadmap of Gujarat's future," he said.