Bharatiya Janata Party leader Bhupendra Patel on Monday took oath as the 18th chief minister of Gujarat.
He was administered the oath by Governor Acharya Devvrat in Gandhinagar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and several chief ministers of BJP-ruled states were present.
Sixteen other MLAs took oath as ministers along with Patel, PTI reported. Eleven of them have served as ministers earlier as well. Only one of them – Bhanuben Babariya – is a woman.
Eight of them – Kanu Desai, Rishikesh Patel, Raghvji Patel, Balvantsinh Rajput, Kunvarji Bavaliya, Mulu Bera, Kuber Dindor and Bhanuben Babariya – have been sworn in as cabinet ministers. Two MLAs – Harsh Sanghvi and Jagdish Vishwakarma – have been sworn in as ministers of state with independent charge.
The other six ministers of state are Parshottam Solanki, Bachu Khabad, Mukesh Patel, Praful Pansheriya, Kuverji Halpati and Bhikhusinh Parmar.
Patel, who will helm Gujarat for the second consecutive term, was unanimously picked as the leader of the legislature party by BJP MLAs during a meeting on Saturday.
Senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, BS Yediyurappa and Arjun Munda were present as the party’s central observers during the meeting.
On December 8, the BJP had won 156 of the 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly elections, putting up the best performance ever by a party in the state polls.
A day later, Patel had resigned as the chief minister, along with his entire Cabinet, to pave the way for forming the next government.
The saffron party’s performance on Thursday had eclipsed the Congress’ best results, when it had won 149 seats in 1985. The BJP had first secured a clear majority in the state in 1995, winning 121 seats, and has won every Assembly election in the state since then.
However, its best showing was in 2002, when the saffron party won 127 seats in the aftermath of the communal riots that had broken out in the state in February that year. This was also the first election in which Narendra Modi was seeking a full term as chief minister. He had succeeded Keshubhai Patel in 2001, who had resigned mid-term