Vijay Rupani sworn-in as the 16th chief minister of Gujarat; Nitin Patel Deputy CM

On Sunday BJP leader Vijay Rupani was sworn in as the 16th chief minister of Gujarat, while Nitin Patel — second in race for the position — took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister.

FP Staff August 07, 2016 13:49:18 IST
Vijay Rupani sworn-in as the 16th chief minister of Gujarat; Nitin Patel Deputy CM

On Sunday BJP leader Vijay Rupani was sworn in as the 16th chief minister of Gujarat, while Nitin Patel — second in race for the position — took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister. The swearing-in ceremony took place in Mahatma Mandir convention centre, Gandhinagar. Governor O P Kohli administered the oath of office and secrecy to 60-year-old Rupani and Patel.

The cabinet is scheduled to meet tomorrow for the first time, the newly-appointed chief minister said after the swearing-in ceremony.

The oath-taking ceremony was held in the presence of top BJP leaders including its president Amit Shah, party veteran LK Advani, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan.

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 cabinet includes eight Patel leaders while nine top leaders from the former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel's cabinet have been dropped.

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 Saturday Rupani had met the Gujarat Governor to stake claim to form the new government, a day after he was elected by BJP MLAs as their leader.

For weeks before the announcement Nitin Patel was seen as the popular choice for the position. He was also Anandiben Patel's first choice to replace her. But in a dramatic turn-around Rupani — a non-Patel — was announced to the seat. Many believe that his status as a Amit Shah loyalist got him the CM seat.

It was widely speculated that Anandiben Patel was unhappy with the party president's choice, however a compromise was achieved when Nitin Patel was made the Deputy CM.

Disgruntled over the choice of the CM, Anandiben had skipped Saturday's meeting with the governor, which had raised a few eyebrows. However, apparently Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stepped in to thaw the situation, after which Anandiben Patel attended the oath taking ceremony.

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