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Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel assigns portfolios to team after grand oath ceremony

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Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel chairs first cabinet meeting with newly sworn in ministers

Gandhinagar:

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Bhupendra Patel was sworn in on Monday as Chief Minister of Gujarat for a second consecutive term in a star-studded ceremony in Gandhinagar with a 16-member Council of Ministers including a woman , and later assigned wallets to his team members, keeping the house and earnings with him.

Mr Patel (60) was sworn in as Governor Acharya Devvrat’s 18th chief minister in a grand ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, cabinet members of the Union and top ministers from BJP-led states at the Terrain helipad near the new secretariat here, four days after the BJP seized power in the state with a historic mandate.

Sixteen other ministers, including eight of ministerial rank – the new ministerial team includes representatives from the Patidar, Koli, tribal and Dalit communities – were also sworn in after the BJP won a seventh consecutive term in Gujarat with a record victory. 156 Assembly seats in the 182-member Chamber. The new entrants include 11 former ministers.

The Council of Ministers has only one woman – Bhanuben Babariya – who was elected to the seat of the Rajkot Rural Assembly (scheduled castes). She was given ministerial rank.

The other seven cabinet ministers are Kanu Desai, Rushikesh Patel, Raghvji Patel, Balvantsinh Rajput, Kunvarji Bavaliya, Mulu Bera and Kuber Dindor.

Harsh Sanghavi and Jagdish Vishwakarma were sworn in as Ministers of State (MoS) with independent office. Sanghavi was Minister of State for Home Affairs in Bhupendra Patel’s previous government.

The other six state ministers are Parshottam Solanki, Bachu Khabad, Mukesh Patel, Praful Pansheriya, Kuverji Halpati and Bhikhusinh Parmar.

Of these 16 ministers, four belong to the Koli community (Bavaliya, Khabad, Solnaki and Mukesh Patel), three are Patidars (Raghavji, Rishikesh and Praful), three OBCs (Vishwakarma, Parmar and Bera) and two are tribal (Halpati and Dindor ).

Mr. Sanghavi is a Jain, Mr. Desai a Brahmin, while Mr. Rajput belongs to the Kshatriya community.

Prime Minister Modi, who has addressed nearly three dozen campaign rallies across the state and is widely credited with the BJP’s strong poll performance, praised Chief Minister Patel and his new team in a tweet .

“Congratulations to Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel for being sworn in as the CM of Gujarat. I would also like to congratulate all those who have been sworn in as Ministers. This is an energetic team that will take Gujarat to even greater heights of progress “, tweeted the Prime Minister after the ceremony. .

Hours after being sworn in in the afternoon, Chief Minister Patel chaired the first meeting of the new cabinet around 6.30pm, followed by the allocation of portfolios to members of his team.

Cabinet Minister Kanubhai Desai was given the finance, energy and petrochemical departments, while the only female cabinet member – Ms. Babariya – was given the portfolios of social justice and empowerment, development of women and children.

The Chief Minister retained the portfolios of Interior, General Administration, Revenue, Disaster Management, Urban Development and Urban Housing, Pilgrimage Development, Panchayat, Science and technology, roads and construction, Narmada, ports and information and broadcasting, according to an official statement. .

Another cabinet minister, Rushikesh Patel, has been given the portfolios of health, higher and technical education, law and parliamentary and legislative affairs, while Raghavji Patel will handle the agriculture departments , fisheries, rural housing and rural development.

Balwantsinh Rajput was assigned Industries, Labor and Employment, MSMEs (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), Handicrafts and Civil Aviation as Minister.

Cabinet member Kunvarji Bavaliya received from the departments of water resources and water supply and food and civil supply.

While Mulubhai Bera has been appointed minister of tourism, cultural activities, forests and environment, his colleague Kuber Dindor will handle tribal development as well as primary and secondary education portfolios.

Harsh Sanghavi was given the portfolios of Home, Police Housing, Industry and Cultural Activities as Minister of State (MoS). He will also manage the Sports and Youth Department, NRG (Non-Resident Gujaratis) Department, Prisons, Border Security and Transport portfolios as MoS with an independent charge.

MoS Jagdish Vishwakarma has been given independent responsibility for cooperation, salt industry and protocol departments. He will also deal with MSMEs, cottage industry, khadi and village industry and civil aviation as a junior minister.

Parshottam Solanki was given Fisheries and Livestock as Minister of State, while Bachubhai Khabad was appointed MoS for Panchayat and Agriculture departments.

Mukesh Patel will manage the departments of Forestry and Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources and Water Supply as Deputy Minister.

Praful Pansheriya was in charge of parliamentary and legislative affairs as well as the education portfolio as deputy minister.

While Bhikhusinh Parmar has been appointed Deputy Minister for Food and Civil Supply as well as Social Justice and Empowerment, his colleague Kunvarji Halpati will deal with Tribal Development, Labor and Employment and rural development as MoS.

Out of the 11 former ministers who have been inducted into Bhupendra Patel’s new team, seven served in the government led by him from September 2021 to December 2022. They are Sanghavi, Vishwakarma, Kanubhai Desai, Rushikesh Patel, Raghavji Patel , Kuber Dindor and Mukesh Patel. .

Four others – Solanki, Bera, Khabad and Bavaliya – had served as ministers in previous BJP governments.

Key ruling party MPs like Alpesh Thakor, Hardik Patel and Rivaba Jadeja – who had been expecting a place in the Cabinet – have been passed over but can hope for portfolios in a future cabinet expansion.

Former chief minister and senior BJP leader Vijay Rupani said: “The cabinet will be expanded later. This is how it is when a new government comes into office and other ministers are added during the expansion.” According to the standards, Gujarat, which has a 182-member assembly, can have a maximum of 27 ministers, ie 15% of the total membership of the Assembly.Currently, it has a Council of Ministers of 17 members, including the CM.

Top BJP leaders, including Union ministers and top ministers from party-ruled states, attended the swearing-in ceremony.

Bhupendra Patel resigned as chief minister along with his entire cabinet on Friday to pave the way for the formation of a new government after the election results. Assembly ballots were held on December 1 and 5, and the results were announced on December 8.

He was elected as the leader of the BJP legislative party on Saturday, after which he met the governor and demanded the formation of the next government. Patel won the Ghatlodia Assembly seat in Ahmedabad by a record margin of 1.92 lakh votes.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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