Gandhinagar | Vijay Rupani was today sworn-in as the new Chief Minister of Gujarat while Nitin Patel took oath as Deputy Chief Minister at a grand ceremony attended by top BJP leaders. Nine ministers from the previous Cabinet, including some considered as loyalists of outgoing Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, have been dropped.
Governor O P Kohli administered the oath of office and secrecy to 60-year-old Rupani and Patel. Eight Cabinet-rank ministers, including Nitin Patel, and 16 Ministers of State were also sworn-in. The total size of the Council of Ministers, including the Chief Minister and Deputy CM now stands at 25.
The oath-taking ceremony was held in the presence of top BJP leaders including its president Amit Shah, party veteran L K Advani, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan. The Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana — Devendra Fadnavis, Raghubar Das and Manohar Lal Khattar respectively — were among the other dignitaries present on the occasion.
Former Minister of State for Home Rajnibhai Patel and Women and Child Development Minister Vasuben Trivedi, considered as loyals of the outgoing Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, have been dropped from the new Cabinet.
The others who were dropped from Rupani’s Cabinet include Finance Minister Saurabh Patel, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Ramanlal Vora and MoS for Science and Technology Govind Patel. On August 3, Anandiben Patel had submitted her resignation to Governor, after the party’s parliamentary board in Delhi accepted her offer to quit the post.
On Friday, the BJP central leadership chose Rupani for the post of the Chief Minister instead of Nitin Patel, who was considered a sure pick for the top job in the poll-bound state.
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