GANDHINAGAR: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Bhupendra Patel on Monday took oath as the Chief Minister of Gujarat for a second straight term in Gandhinagar in a grand ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers, and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states.
Sixteen other ministers, including eight of cabinet rank, were also sworn in. The new entrants include 11 former ministers.
Patel was administered the oath as the 18th chief minister by Governor Acharya Devvrat at a function held at the Helipad Ground near the new Secretariat.
The Cabinet ministers include Kanu Desai, Rishikesh Patel, Raghvji Patel, Balvantsinh Rajput, Kunvarji Bavaliya, Mulu Bera, Kuber Dindor, and Bhanuben Babariya.
Harsh Sanghvi and Jagdish Vishwakarma were sworn in as ministers of state with an independent charge.
The six other ministers of the state include 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 tribals (Halpati and Dindor).
Babariya belongs to a Scheduled Caste community, Sanghvi is Jain, Desai a Brahmin, and Rajput a Kshatriya.
PM Modi congratulated CM Patel and his new team in a tweet.
“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 newer heights of progress” the PM tweeted after the ceremony.
Of the 11 former ministers who were inducted into the Bhupendra Patel government 2.0, seven were part of the government led by him from September 2021 to December 2022.
They are Harsh Sanghavi, Jagdish Vishwakarma, Kanubhai Desai, Rushikesh Patel, Raghavji Patel, Kuber Dindor and Mukesh Patel.
Four others including Solanki, Bera, Khabad, and Bavaliya had served as ministers in the BJP governments in the past.
Top BJP leaders, including Union ministers and chief ministers of the party-ruled states, attended the swearing-in ceremony.
They included Union minister Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, Karnataka CM S R Bommai, Goa CM Pramod Sawant, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu and Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala
BJP president JP Nadda and Union ministers Smriti Irani, Ramdas Athawale, and Sarbananda Sonowal also attended.
In the just-concluded Gujarat Assembly elections, counting for which was held on December 8, the BJP won a seventh straight term by winning record 156 seats in the 182-member House. The Congress won 17 constituencies and AAP 5.
Patel, 60, resigned as chief minister along with his entire cabinet on Friday to pave the way for the formation of a new government following the election results.
He was elected as the leader of the BJP legislative party on Saturday, following which he met the governor and staked the claim to form the next government.
Patel won the Ghatlodia seat with the highest margin of 1.92 lakh votes in the elections.
A low-profile BJP leader and the first from the Kadva Patidar sub-group to become CM, Patel replaced Vijay Rupani in September 2021.