Bhupendra Patel Swearing-in: New Cabinet Represents All of Gujarat, Says Ex-CM Rupani; CM Yogi in Ahmedabad for Big Event

The new cabinet represents all of Gujarat, said former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. Eight Cabinet Ministers and nine Ministers of State will reportedly take the oath today at the swearing-in ceremony. BJP stalwarts from across the country have been pouring into PM Modi's home state for the ceremony. While the Prime Minister arrived in Ahmedabad last night, CMs of BJP-ruled states including Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and more are in Gandhinagar for the event.BJP leader Bhupendra Patel is set to take oath as the 18th Chief Minister of Gujarat for a second straight term in Gandhinagar on Monday. The ceremony will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and chief ministers of other BJP-ruled states, among other dignitaries. The oath will be administered by Governor Acharya Devvrat at a function at the Helipad Ground near the new Secretariat in Gandhinagar at 2 pm.Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani will be present too. Apart from this, Chief Ministers of eight BJP-ruled states — Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand will be present. Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi will also attend the swearing-in ceremony and will reportedly leave for Gujarat at 9.45 am from Lucknow.

Additionally, 17 members of the cabinet will reportedly take oath. MLAs who will join the cabinet have been called by the Gujarat BJP President to attend the oath-taking ceremony, as per reports. Kanu Desai, Rishikesh Patel, Raghavji Patel have reportedly been called to take oath as ministers, while Harsh Sanghavi, Balwant Rajput, Kunvarji Bavaliya, Jagdish Panchal, Bhanu Ben Babariya and Bachchu Khabar are also expected to be present.

Bhupendra Patel took to Twitter on Saturday and expressed his gratitude to the BJP cadre for opting to make him the CM of Gujarat for a second term. “I express my gratitude to the entire BJP family for electing me as the leader of the assembly party in the presence of central observers in the meeting of elected MLAs of Bharatiya Janata Party.” he tweeted.

Addressing a press conference after the legislative party meeting at the state BJP headquarters ‘Kamalam', Bhupendra Patel said the implementation of promises made in the manifesto, including a Uniform Civil Code, will be the priority of his government.

BJP won a record mandate in the Assembly elections by winning 156 out of the total 182 seats on Thursday (December 8).

Bhupendra Patel's winning margin of 1.92 lakh in Ghatlodia Assembly seat in Ahmedabad district was the highest in the state. “PM Modi's commitment to take Gujarat into the league of developed nations (to bring the state's development on par with developed countries) will be realised by all the MLAs and state BJP chief C R Paatil. The government and party will work effectively under the guidance of PM Modi and Amit Shah,” he said.

‘No Unnecessary Controversies, Steady Hand'

Patel remains BJP's Gujarat choice for several reasons. A low-profile BJP leader and the first from the Kadva Patidar sub-group to become CM, Patel replaced Vijay Rupani in September 2021. According to reports, Patel has an unblemished image, and most importantly, he was the youngest candidate for the position. BJP leaders in New Delhi were quoted as saying by Today that because he brought no baggage to the position, he would be ‘much easier to control and appease Patidar satraps through the party high command'.

The Patidar (or Patel) community, which constitutes the BJP's core vote bank, was seen as drifting away from it in recent years, a report by the Indian Express states. This was reflected in the February local body elections, where, despite the BJP winning almost all of the bodies, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stormed into Surat, home to state party chief CR Paatil, to become the municipal corporation's main opposition, fueled by anti-BJP Patidar votes.

The death of late BJP CM Keshubhai Patel last year left a void in the community, as he had dared to fight the BJP in 2012, backed by many of its Patidar leaders. Younger Patidar leaders had openly demanded that the next CM be elected from within the community, IE reported.

Reports also credit Patel with not allowing his government to be ‘bogged down by unnecessary squabbles typically associated with the BJP and often sparked by its affiliated outfits'.