Vijay Rupani sworn in; Gujarat Cabinet bears Shah’s stamp

The newly elected leader of Gujarat BJP, Vijay Rupani, was on Sunday sworn in as the 16th Chief Minister of Gujarat. The ceremony at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar was attended by BJP top brass including party president Amit Shah, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and patriarch L.K. Advani. Nitin Patel was sworn in as deputy Chief Minister.

Besides Mr. Rupani and Mr. Patel, seven Cabinet Ministers and 16 Ministers of State (MoS) were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor O.P. Kohli.

In a major decision, Mr. Rupani dropped one of the most powerful Ministers Saurabh Patel, who handled Finance, Energy and Petrochemicals, Tourism and Planning portfolios in the previous administration, led by Anandiben Patel.

Mr. Patel has been a member of the State Cabinet since January 2003 when then Chief Minister Narendra Modi appointed him junior minister for Energy and Ports. Subsequently, he emerged as a key figure, liaising with industries and corporates for the biennial Vibrant Gujarat summits.

An apparently upset Mr. Patel, who is married to late Dhirubhai Ambani’s niece, met BJP in-charge Dinesh Sharma over his removal. Another minister in the previous administration, Vasuben Trivedi, distant cousin of outgoing Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, was also missing from the new Cabinet which bears the distinct imprint of party president Amit Shah. “It is known that Amitbhai has no love lost for Saurabh Patel, who had lately grown arrogant,” said a senior party leader.

Eight other ministers from the Anandiben administration have been dropped in the new cabinet while Speaker Ganpat Vasava, a tribal leader from south Gujarat, has been made a cabinet minister.

Two junior ministers Jayesh Radadia and Dilip Thakor have been elevated to the cabinet rank and nine new faces inducted.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 6:20:55 PM |

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