Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has allocated portfolios to 24 newly-inducted ministers, keeping a host of departments including Home with himself.
The portfolio allocation was announced on Thursday in the first cabinet meeting held in Gandhinagar after the ministers were sworn in earlier in the day.
Besides the Home, CM Bhupendra Patel will hold the charge of General Administration Department, Information and Broadcast, Industries, Mines and Minerals, Capital Projects, Urban Development, Urban Housing and Narmada and Ports, an official release stated.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, meanwhile, has not appointed any deputy.
Governor Acharya Devvrat administered the oath to 10 cabinet ministers and 14 ministers of state, including five ministers of state with independent charge.
Those sworn in at the 1.30 pm Raj Bhavan ceremony include former Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi and former state BJP president Jitubhai Vaghani.
Gujarat Cabinet reshuffle | Ministers and their portfolios
-Pardi MLA Kanubhai Desai has been allocated Finance and Energy and Petrochemicals portfolios.
-Rajendra Trivedi, who was Assembly speaker during the previous Vijay Rupani government, has been allocated Revenue, Law and Justice, and Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs departments as a cabinet-rank minister.
-Bhavnagar Paschim MLA Jitu Vaghani has been given the Education portfolio as cabinet minister.
-Visnagar MLA Rishikesh Patel has been given Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education as well as Water Resources and Water Supply.
-Surat West MLA Purnesh Modi will handle Roads and Building, Transport, Civil Aviation, Tourism and Pilgrimage Development.
-Jamnagar Rural MLA Raghavji Patel will handle Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.
-Limbdi MLA Kiritsinh Rana has been given Forest, Environment, Climate Change, and Printing and Stationery departments.
-Gandevi MLA Naresh Patel will hold Tribal Development and Food and Civil Supply.
-Asarwa MLA Pradip Parmar has been made Social Justice and Empowerment Minister.
-Arjunsinh Chauhan has been allocated the Rural Development and Rural Housing.
-Harsh Sanghavi, youngest member of the ministry, would be the Minister of State (MoS), Home. He would also handle the Disaster Management and Police Housing.
Sanghavi was also allocated independent charge as MoS of Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities, NRI, Excise and Prohibition, Border Security and Prisons.
-MoS Jagdish Panchal has been given independent charge of Cottage Industries, Cooperation, Salt Industry and Protocol. He will also handle Industries, Forest and Environment, Climate Change and Printing and Stationery portfolios.
-MoS Brijesh Merja has been given independent charge of Labour and Employment as well as Panchayats. He will also handle Rural Development and Rural Housing as an MoS.
-Jitu Chaudhary has been made MoS for Kalpsar and Fisheries with independent charge and also given the responsibility of Narmada, Water Resources and Water Supply as MoS.
-MoS Manishaben Vakil has been given the independent charge of Women and Child Development. She would also handle Social Justice and Empowerment as junior minister.
-Mukesh Patel has been made MoS for Agriculture and Energy and Petrochemicals departments.
-Nimisha Suthar has been given Tribal Development, Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education as junior minister.
-MoS Arvind Raiyani has been alloted Transport, Civil Aviation, Tourism and Pilgrimage Development.
-Kuber Dindor has been given Higher and Technical Education as well as Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs as an MoS.
-Kirtisinh Vaghela has been made MoS for Primary, Secondary and Adult Education.
-Gajendrasinh Parmar is MoS for Food and Civil Supply.
-RC Makwana has been given Social Justice and Empowerment as MoS.
-Vinod Moradia has been made MoS for Urban Development and Urban Housing.
-Deva Malam will be MoS for Animal Husbandry.
No deputy CM in Bhupendra Patel-led Gujarat government
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel-led BJP government in Gujarat will not have a deputy chief minister, a post that was held by Nitin Patel in the previous Vijay Rupani-headed cabinet.
So far, the state has seen five deputy chief ministers since its formation in 1960. Of these, three of them were during the Congress-led dispensations.
Nitin Patel has been the longest-serving deputy chief minister in the state, who was appointed to the post in August 2016. Nitin Patel and Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama were dropped in the first reshuffle of the new Gujarat cabinet.
“Last time, Nitin Patel was made deputy CM as it was the requirement of that time,” party sources said. In 2016, when the BJP replaced Anandiben Patel, she insisted on appointing Nitin Patel as her successor.
“However, the party wanted Vijay Rupani to occupy the top post. Therefore, Nitin Patel was made the deputy CM as a compromise,” they said.
They further added that this time, there was no such requirement for a deputy CM, so nobody was given the responsibility.
Nimaben Acharya is new Speaker
An MLA from Bhuj, Nimaben Acharya is the new Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly.
Rajendra Trivedi, who resigned as the Gujarat Assembly Speaker hours before the oath-taking ceremony, has been alloted a ministerial berth in the new Gujarat cabinet.
Trivedi was nominated Assembly Speaker in 2018 after serving as the Minister of State for Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities and Pilgrimage in the Rupani government.
PM Modi congratulates new ministers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the new ministers, saying these are “outstanding Karyakartas who have devoted their lives to public service”.
“Congratulations to all Party colleagues who have taken oath as Ministers in the Gujarat Government. These are outstanding Karyakartas who have devoted their lives to public service and spreading our Party’s development agenda. Best wishes for a fruitful tenure ahead,” PM Modi tweeted.
Congratulations to all Party colleagues who have taken oath as Ministers in the Gujarat Government. These are outstanding Karyakartas who have devoted their lives to public service and spreading our Party’s development agenda. Best wishes for a fruitful tenure ahead.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2021
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah credited the BJP governments in Gujarat, right from the time when PM Modi was the chief minister, for strengthening the law and order situation and helping the state shed its ‘curfew capital’ tag and gain the identity of being a safe and secure state.
Addressing a gathering virtually on Thursday after inaugurating six newly-constructed police stations and an office of deputy superintendent of police in rural Ahmedabad, he said that thanks to the improved law and order situation, Gujarat has become a leading state in terms of industrial development.
(With PTI inputs)