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Modi inducts 18 ministers; keeps old faces

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has inducted 18 Ministers, including 10 fresh faces, into his two-tier ministry.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2008 11:14 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inducted 18 Ministers, including 10 fresh faces, into his two-tier ministry. Among those who were given Cabinet rank included old hands like Vaju Vala, Narrotam Patel, Anandiben Patel, Ramanlal Vora and Mangubhai Patel.

Fresh faces in the Cabinet were Nitin Patel, Dilip Singhani, Fakir Vaghela and Jaynarayan Vyas. The Ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma at a function on the lawns of the Gujarat Assembly.

The nine Ministers of State were Amit Shah, Saurab Patel, Jaswantsinh Babhor, Purshottam Solanki, Maya Kodnani, Parbat Patel, Kirtisinh Rana, Jaysinh Chauhan and Vasan Ahir.

Prominent among the ministers in the previous Modi government who managed to win last month's assembly polls but was dropped was Ashok Bhatt, Bharat Barot, Anil Patel and Bhupendra Lakhawala.

With this expansion, Gujarat now has a 19-member Ministry, including Modi, who was sworn in as Chief Minister for the third time on December 25. The previous Modi Ministry had 26 members.

Seven sitting ministers, including three of Cabinet rank Kaushik Patel (Revenue), I K Jadeja (Urban Development) and Bhupendrasinh Chudasma (Agriculture) lost elections.

Two other ministers -- C D Patel and Harjivan Patel -- were not given tickets by the BJP. Modi had led the BJP to a spectacular win in the two-phased polls on December 11 and 16 with the saffron party bagging 117 seats in the 182-member Assembly.

This is Modi's third stint as Chief Minister of Gujarat, which has emerged as BJP's bastion. The 58-year-old BJP leader first became the CM in October 2001 and led the party to victory in December 2002 Assembly polls. In the process he has also become the longest serving Chief Minister of the western state.