Bhupendra Patel was sworn in as the 18th Chief Minister of Gujarat on Monday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Union Ministers and several Chief Ministers of the BJP ruled States.
Along with him, eight other Cabinet Ministers, two Ministers of State (MoS) with Independent Charge and five MoS were sworn in in a gala event in the State capital Gandhinagar.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devrat administered the oath of office and secrecy to the Chief Minister and his Cabinet members.
After the swearing-in ceremony, the first Cabinet meeting was held at the Secretariat where the Ministers were allocated the departments.
Accordingly, Kanubhai Desai was given the important portfolios of Finance, Energy and Petrochemicals, which he held in the previous government also. Another Cabinet Minister Rushikesh Patel got Health and Family Welfare and Law and Justice and Legislative Affairs.
Both Mr. Desai and Mr. Patel have also been appointed as the Cabinet spokesperson.
Harsh Sanghavi, Minister of State for Home in the previous government, has again allotted the portfolio of Home and Industries as MoS and Transport, Youth & Culture and Sports as Independent charge.
A notable entry into the Cabinet is Balwantsinh Rajput, a Congress turncoat who had taken on Congress veteran leader Ahmed Patel in a Rajya Sabha election in 2017. Mr. Rajput won from his traditional Sidhpur seat in north Gujarat and has been given important portfolios of Industries, Labour and Employment and Civil Aviation.
Mr. Rajput himself is an industrialist and education baron in the State.
Another Congress turncoat in the Cabinet is Kuvarji Bavalia, who has been given the departments like Water Resources, Food and Civil supply. He was a Minister in the Rupani government.
From the previous government, several senior Ministers have been dropped including Education Minister Jitu Vaghani, Tourism and Transport Minister Purnesh Modi, Tribal Development Minister Jitu Chaudhari and environment and Forest Minister Kiritsinh Rana.
According to sources; the Cabinet will be expanded with induction of eight to ten new Ministers in the next round, but there is no clarity regarding when this expansion is expected to happen.
Also, those who were expected to make in the new Cabinet like a major face in the Cooperative Sector Shankar Chaudhary, former Vadodara MP and recently elected MLA Balu Shukla and former Rajya Sabha member and leading Dalit leader Shambhu Prasad Tundia did not find place in the first round.
Rajkot (rural) legislator Bhanuben Babaria has been given the portfolio of Social Justice and Empowerment and Women and Child Development.