Gujarat Cabinet expansion: Probable names and other developments
Ahmedabad, Sep 14: The much-awaited Gujarat Cabinet expansion is likely to take place in the next two days, said a senior BJP leader. As per rules, the names of ministers will be declared on the oath taking day.
"Discussions are going on and the swearing-in will take place either Wednesday or Thursday," Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas told PTI on Tuesday.
Some ministerial berth aspirants met state BJP chief C R Paatil on Tuesday.
On Monday, a first-time MLA Bhupendra Patel, sworn in as Gujarat chief minister, two days after his predecessor Vijay Rupani quit the post.
There is speculation in state BJP circles on whether Nitin Patel, deputy CM in the Rupani-led ministry, is retained in the new cabinet.
There is also talk on the chances of Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, R C Faldu and Kaushik Patel, senior ministers in the Rupani cabinet, being retained.
Party sources said efforts will be made to accommodate senior leaders in the cabinet as far as possible.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah met Patel and Paatil Monday night before leaving for New Delhi, the sources said. Cabinet formation was likely discussed, they added.
Patel was unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader on Sunday and was sworn in as the state''s 17th chief minister by Governor Acharya Devvrat in Gandhinagar. Shah was present in the oath-taking ceremony.
Patel's elevation to the coveted post is being attributed to his closeness to former Gujarat chief minister and current Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel.
With state Assembly polls scheduled in December 2022, the BJP is banking on Bhupendra Patel, a Patidar, for poll victory. In the 2017 Assembly elections, BJP won 99 of the 182 seats and Congress got 77.
Rupani, the fourth chief minister to demit office in BJP-ruled states during the coronavirus pandemic, completed five years in office on August 7 this year.