Patel sworn in as Gujarat CM for second time along with 16 ministers

Wednesday 14th December 2022 05:36 EST

Bhupendra Patel was sworn in as Gujarat's chief minister for a second term in Gandhinagar, capping a record-breaking performance in the assembly election where the BJP won a historic 156 of 182 seats. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a galaxy of VVIPs, including several Union ministers, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, and other dignitaries attended.

The Bhupendra Patel 2.0 government's council of ministers bore the imprint of PM Modi, who was the primary driving force behind the BJP's resounding victory, everywhere they were appointed. The choice of ministers clearly indicated the cabinet members were picked with an eye on the 2024 general election. The PM arrived in Gujarat and oversaw the process of finalizing the names of MLAs who were inducted as ministers.

The Patel cabinet has appointed five newcomers, three from the earlier Vijay Rupani government, and seven ministers from his previous administration. Four Congress traitors - Kunvarji Bavaliya, Raghavji Patel, Balwantsinh Rajput, who received cabinet positions, and Kunvarji Halpati, who received the MoS rank- were among those who took oath . Cabinet berths were also given to Kanu Desai, Rushikesh Patel, Mulu Bera, Kuber Dindor and Bhanu Babariya. Harsh Sanghavi and Jagdish Vishwakarma were sworn in as ministers of state with independent charge. At the same time, Parshottam Solanki, Bachu Khabad, Mukesh Patel, Praful Pansheriya, Kunvarji Halpati and Bhikhusinh Parmar were inducted as MoS-rank ministers.

CM Patel reserved all significant portfolios except for the industries department whose independent charge was given to Balwantsinh Rajput, an industrialist. The BJP’s rising star in Gujarat, 37-year -old Sanghavi was entrusted with a significant responsibility as MoS home and industries along with an independent charge of eight other departments. The lone woman minister, Babariya, is the only Dalit face in the cabinet. She was given social justice and empowerment and woman and child development departments.

Striking a fine balance between regions, castes and communities, Patel-led 17-member government has four Patidars, seven OBCs, a lion’s share of which went to four from the Koli community, and two tribals. One each from the Dalit, Jain, Brahmin and Kshatriya communities found a place in Team Bhupendra.

After sworn-in ceremony, PM tweeted “Congratulations to Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel on taking oath as CM of Gujarat. I would like to also congratulate all those who took oath as ministers. This is an energetic team which will take Gujarat to even n ewer heights of progress.”

The BJP high command appeared to have systematically rid the party of any ministers who had stirred up rumours or controversy. Five current ministers in the Bhupendra Patel 1.0 government were not fielded at all, although some other election winners were not given a cabinet spot in favour of newcomers.

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