GANDHINAGAR: Making amply clear that it is in a mood for a complete overhaul in Gujarat ahead of the 2022 state polls, the BJP on Thursday inducted 24 ministers, including 21 who have become ministers for the first time.
With the fresh inductions, the strength of the ministry led by CM Bhupendra Patel, a first-term MLA and minister, has gone up to 25. Those sworn in at the 1:30 pm Raj Bhavan ceremony include former Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi and former state BJP president Jitu Vaghani.
No minister from the earlier Vijay Rupani-led ministry was inducted. Governor Acharya Devvrat administered the oath to 10 cabinet ministers and 14 ministers of state, including five ministers of state with independent charge.
Bhupendra Patel (59), who was sworn in as the 17th chief minister of the state on Monday, was present at the Raj Bhavan ceremony, along with Rupani, whose sudden resignation from the post on Saturday led to the formation of the new ministry.
The following were sworn in as cabinet ministers: Rajendra Trivedi, Jitu Vaghani, Rushikesh Patel, Purnesh Modi, Raghavji Patel, Kanubhai Desai, Kiritsinh Rana, Naresh Patel, Pradip Parmar and Arjunsinh Chauhan.
Trivedi, Rana and Raghavji Patel have been ministers earlier. The nine ministers of state are Mukesh Patel, Nimisha Suthar, Arvind Raiyani, Kuber Dindor, Kirtisinh Vaghela, Gajendrasinh Parmar, R C Makwana, Vinod Moradia and Deva Malam.
Ahead of the swearing-in, there were speculations that senior ministers in the Rupani ministry, like Nitin Patel, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Kaushik Patel, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, and R C Faldu may not be included.
The BJP took the "no-repeat" formula a step further by not inducting any member of the Rupani ministry. Political observers say the BJP expects to make an impact ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls with this new-look ministry.
After picking Patel, a Patidar community leader as the CM, the BJP has given berth to six Patels and OBCs each, four from scheduled tribes, three from scheduled castes, two each from among brahmins and kshatriyas and one member from the Jain community.