The Bharatiya Janata Party claimed a landslide victory in Gujarat – routing the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, and setting a state record in the process – and will install Bhupendra Patel as chief minister at 2 pm. Also, 17 ministers will be sworn in today with an expansion planned for later, sources have said.
Patel – who replaced Vijay Rupani last September as the party sought to ward off anti-incumbency – will take his oath in a mega show that will see prime minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah in attendance.
The 60-year-old ‘silent troubleshooter’ led the BJP to a statement win ahead of elections in other states in 2023 and the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
The BJP claimed 156 of the state’s 182 seats, leaving 16 for a decimated Congress and five for debutants AAP. Patel won Ghatlodia by 1.92 lakh votes.
Who will be in the cabinet?
The Patel 2.0 cabinet is set to be a mix of lawmakers from various caste and districts as the BJP tries to keep the communities that voted for it happy. It will have 25-28 ministers, with 10-12 of cabinet rank, sources have indicated.
New faces Alpesh Thakor, Shankar Chaudhary, Dr Darshita Shah may be inducted, a party functionary told Hindustan Times.
Alpesh Thakor is an OBC leader from Gandhinagar (south) who was the Congress MLA from Radhanpur when he quit to join the BJP in 2019.
Shankar Chaudhary is a former health minister who could make his return to the cabinet this time, as may several ex ministers, including Kanu Desai (finance), Purnesh Modi (roads and transport) and Jitu Vaghani (education).
Not all will be sworn in today; Vaghani, Chaudhary, Thakor, and Ganpath Vasava may be considered during expansion, BJP sources said.
List of possible cabinet-rank ministers
|Jitu Vaghani||Bhavnagar (west)|
|Purnesh Modi||Surat (west)|
|Alpesh Thakor||Gandhinagar (south)|
|Raghavji Patel||Jamnagar (rural)|
|Kunvarji Bavalia||Mandvi (ST seat)|
|Ramanbhai Vora||Idar (SC seat)|
List of possible ministers of state
|Darshita Shah||Rajkot (west)|
|Bachubhai Khabad||Devgadh Baria|
|Bhanuben Babariya||Rajkot (rural)|
|Parshottam Solanki||Bhavnagar (rural)|
|Dr Pradyuman Vaja||Kodinar|