Bhupendra Patel to continue as Gujarat CM for 2nd term
Bhupendra Patel will continue as chief minister of Gujarat for a second consecutive term as he was unanimously picked as BJP legislative party leader by the newly-elected MLAs at a meeting on Saturday, according to people aware of the details.
Bhupendra Patel will continue as chief minister of Gujarat for a second consecutive term as he was unanimously picked as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative party leader by the newly-elected MLAs at a meeting on Saturday, according to people aware of the details.
Soon after the meeting, Patel reached Raj Bhavan and met governor Acharya Devvrat to stake claim to form the government.
He is scheduled to take oath as the 18th chief minister in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah at a function at Helipad ground, near the new secretariat in Gandhinagar, on December 12.
“The newly-elected MLAs met today at ‘Kamalam’ (BJP headquarters), where the proposal to name Bhupendra Patel as the chief minister of Gujarat was unanimously approved,” the BJP said in a statement.
Central observers for Gujarat – defence minister Rajnath Singh, former Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa and Union tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda – were among those who attended the meeting.
Later in the day, Patel and Paatil flew to Delhi to meet Modi and Shah, according to a party functionary who did not wish to be named.
On Thursday, the BJP won a record mandate in the state elections by winning 156 seats in the 182-member House. Subsequently, Patel and his entire cabinet tendered their resignation to form a new government.
Addressing a press conference after the legislative party meeting, Patel said the implementation of promises made in the BJP’s poll manifesto, including the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, will be the priority of his government.
“Gujarat has once again put its stamp of approval on the leadership and politics of development of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and put its trust in the BJP. PM Modi’s commitment to take Gujarat to the league of developed nations will be realised by all the MLAs and state BJP chief CR Paatil. The government and the party will work effectively under the guidance of PM Modi and Amit Shah,” Patel, who won the Ghatlodia assembly seat in Ahmedabad district by the highest margin of 1.92 lakh votes, said.
“We have formed a committee (on Uniform Civil Code) and we will act on its recommendations. The BJP has not left a single promise unfulfilled and it has resolved pending issues like (abrogating) Article 370 (special status to Jammu and Kashmir) and (the construction of ) Ram Mandir (in Ayodhya),” he said when asked about the BJP’s poll promise to implement the UCC.
The new state cabinet will have around 25-28 ministers, including 10-12 cabinet-rank ministers, according to the party functionary. New faces like Rivaba Jadeja, Alpesh Thakor, Shankar Chaudhary, Dr Darshana Shah, Amit Thakkar and Hardik Patel are likely to be inducted, the party functionary cited above said.
Some of the legislators who are in the race for ministerial berths include former health minister and chairman of Banas Dairy, Shankar Chaudhary (Tharad), OBC leader Alpesh Thakor (Gandhinagar south), former finance minister Kanu Desai (Pardi, Valsad), Ganpath Vasava (Mangrol), former minister of roads and transport Purnesh Modi (Surat east), Rishikesh Patel (Visnagar), former education minister Jitu Vaghani (Bhavnagar west), former food and civil supplies minister Jayesh Radadiya (Jetpur), former health minister Rishikesh Patel (Visnagar) and Raghavji Patel (Jamnagar rural), a second functionary said.
“The new cabinet will be a mix of various caste and district representations. For instance, in the tribal belt, Vasava or Naresh Patel (Gandevi) may get a cabinet berth. Similarly, Jaydrathsinh Parmar (Himmatnagar) or Kiritsinh Rana (Limbdi) could be Kshatriya face in the cabinet. If Vaghani represents Bhavnagar, Radadiya (Jetpur) could be the face from Rajkot district,” the functionary said.
The party dropped as many as 48 sitting MLAs and gave tickets to former legislators and first time MLAs ahead of the elections. Of these, 46 won the polls.