With an eye on the next year’s assembly polls, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inducted six new faces in his ministry in an attempt to give adequate representation to the important social groups in the state.
The ministers, who were sworn in by the Governor Dr Kamala at a ceremony on the lawns of Raj Bhavan are Liladhar Vaghela, Ishvarbhai Patel, Ranjit Gilatwala, Jitu Sukhadia, Jaydrathsinh Parmar and Mohan Kundalia.
Liladhar Vaghela, Ishwar Patel and Ranjit Gilitwala are from communities belonging to the OBCs while Kundalia is a Patel from Saurashtra and Parmar is a kshatriya from central Gujarat.
After swearing in ceremony, the newly inducted ministers were given portfolios as junior ministers. Vaghela has got labour and employment, Kundalia rural development, Sikhadia has been given tourism and civil supplies, Ishwar Patel got sports and cooperation, while road and buildings has been given to Jaydrathsinh Parmar. Former Surat mayor Gilitwala has got cottage industries and planning and stationary.
“In the expansion, the Chief minister has accommodated MLAs from central and South Gujarat and also from North Gujarat and Saurashtra,” a senior minister in the government said, adding with the expansion, ministerial strength has reached to 27, which is permitted to Gujarat.
This is the second time Modi has expanded his cabinet and inducted new faces in the government after the last polls in 2007. Earlier, following the arrest of his trusted junior home minister Amit Shah in connection with the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case; five ministers had been inducted into the government last August.