BJP MLAs to meet today to elect new Gujarat chief minister
Bhupendra Patel on Friday resigned along with his entire current cabinet ahead of the formation of the new government in the state
A meeting of newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs in Gujarat will be held on Saturday in Gandhinagar to pick a name for the chief minister’s post, with the party already having indicated that Bhupendra Patel will return for a second term.
Patel on Friday resigned along with his entire current cabinet ahead of the formation of the new government in the state. In the election results declared on Thursday, the BJP clinched 156 out of the 182 seats in the Gujarat assembly.
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Senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, BS Yediyurappa and Arjun Munda will be the central observers for the legislature party meeting in the Gujarat capital.
The oath-taking ceremony will take place at 2pm on Monday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, state BJP president CR Paatil said. Chief ministers of BJP-ruled states are also expected to be present at the ceremony.
The new government under chief minister Patel will see about 10-12 cabinet-rank ministers along with about 15-16 ministers of state, according to a leader aware of the matter. New faces such as Rivaba Jadeja, Alpesh Thakor, Shankar Chaudhary, Darshana Shah, Amit Thakkar and Hardik Patel are likely to be included in the new government.
“The new cabinet will be a mix of various caste and district representations,” a leader said, asking not to be named.
“The governor has accepted the resignation of the chief minister and his cabinet. Till the formation of a new government, Patel will remain the caretaker chief minister,” the party’s chief whip Pankaj Desai told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan.
“The meeting of MLAs will be held at 10am on Saturday at the party headquarters ‘Kamalam’ in Gandhinagar. The Governor will be informed about the election of a new leader in the afternoon, for which we have sought time from him. The swearing-in of the new chief minister and his cabinet will take place as per the Governor’s instructions,” Desai said.
Paatil earlier announced the swearing-in ceremony of the new government will take place on Monday at the Helipad Ground in Gandhinagar.
Some of the legislators who are in the race to get cabinet-rank berths on Monday 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), said a person aware of the developments.
With PTI inputs