The next two days is likely to see the swearing-in of many more ministers in the Gujarat government, sources close to the BJP told the media a day after new Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel's oath-taking ceremony.
The rushed swearing-in of Patel took place following the dramatic exit of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani on Saturday. 59-year-old Patel was the only minister to have been sworn in. As per sources, the rest of the Cabinet will be sworn in further down the week.
“Discussions are going on and the swearing-in will take place either Wednesday or Thursday,” Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas said.
Who are the ministers being sworn in?
As per the procedure, the names of ministers will be declared when they take the oath, he said.
There is speculation in 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 state BJP president C R Paatil Monday night before leaving for New Delhi, party sources said. Cabinet formation was likely discussed, they added.
Swapping Chief Ministers
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 on Monday. 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.
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.
With state Assembly polls scheduled in December 2022, the BJP is banking on Patel, a Patidar, for poll victory. In the 2017 Assembly elections, BJP won 99 of the 182 seats and Congress got 77.
(With inputs from PTI)