Twenty-four ministers took oath on Thursday afternoon at the swearing-in ceremony of the members of the new Gujarat Cabinet, ANI reported. Ahead of the Assembly elections in the state next year, no minister who served in the previous Vijay Rupani administration was retained in the new Cabinet, The Hindu reported.
In the new Cabinet headed by Patel, ten ministers have been given Cabinet ranks, while nine of them have been sworn in as ministers of state, according to The Indian Express. Five others took oath as ministers of state with independent charge.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat administered oath to the ministers at the Raj Bhavan in state capital Gandhinagar.
Former chief of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gujarat unit Jitu Vaghani, MLAs Rushikesh Patel and Raghavji Patel were among those who took oath as ministers.
The new Council of Ministers held its first meeting in Gandhinagar after the swearing-in ceremony ceremony, the chief minister’s office said in a tweet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah congratulated the new Cabinet.
“These are outstanding karyakartas [party workers] who have devoted their lives to public service and spreading our party’s development agenda,” Modi said in his tweet.
The oath-taking ceremony was initially scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, but was postponed at the last moment, according to NDTV. Reports suggested that differences over the choice of the new ministers had led to the postponement.
Rupani had stepped down from his position without giving a reason, but the Congress alleged that BJP made him a “scapegoat” to hide the mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis in Gujarat.
Amid the changes in Gujarat, BJP leader Nitin Patel is trying to retain his post as the deputy chief minister, according to NDTV.
Meanwhile, ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers on Thursday, Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi tendered his resignation, The Indian Express reported.