Ahmedabad: The first cabinet meeting of the recently re-elected BJP government led by Vijay Rupani saw the chief minister retaining some of the key portfolios including home.
Among other portfolios, Rupani has retained majority of his earlier portfolios including general administration, industries, home, planning, ports and mines among others. Rupani will also handle urban development, petroleum, climate change, science and technology and information & broadcasting. Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel has been allotted portfolios including roads and building, health and family welfare, Narmada and Kalpsar project.
Cabinet minister Saurabh Patel has been given finance and energy. In the previous government, finance was handled by deputy CM Patel.
Saurabh Patel, a five time legislator, who has held several important portfolios earlier, was dropped by Rupani last year. Patel has made a comeback to the government as a cabinet minister, having won from the Botad constituency in Saurashtra.
R.C.Faldu, who has twice been the state BJP president, is the new face in the BJP government. As a cabinet minister, he has been given the charge of agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry and transport departments.
Kaushik Patel, who won from Naranpura constituency in Ahmedabad, has been made the revenue minister. Tribal leader Ganpat Vasava has been given portfolios like tribal development, forest, tourism and women & child development. Cabinet minister Ishwar Parmar, a Dalit, has been given social justice and empowerment as well as OBC welfare department.
Senior cabinet minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama will handle portfolios including education, law and justice and parliamentary and legislative affairs departments.
Jayesh Radadiya has been given food & civil supplies and consumer affairs as well as cottage industries.
The BJP government was sworn-in for the sixth time in Gujarat on 26 December. With 99 members of the legislative assembly (MLAs), the BJP has a clear majority in the 182-member assembly although it won 16 seats less than its 2012 tally of 115 in recently concluded Gujarat elections. Governor Om Prakash Kohli had administered the oath of office and secrecy to 20 ministers, including Rupani and his deputy Patel. Nine were sworn in as cabinet ministers and 10 as ministers of state (MoS).
Among the MoS, Pradipsinh Jadeja has retained the home department.
A well-known OBC leader from the Chaudhary community Parbat Patel has been allotted irrigation and water supply with independent charge while MoS Parshottam Solanki has retained fisheries.
Bhavnagar East MLA Vibhavari Dave, the lone woman in the new ministry, has been made MoS for women and child development, primary and secondary education as well as for pilgrimage development.
Tribal leader Raman Patkar has been given charge of forest and tribal welfare department as MoS.
Patidar leader from Surat Kishor Kanani who won from Varachha constituency in South Gujarat, regarded as the epicentre of Patel quota stir in Surat, has been rewarded for his performance as he has been selected as MoS for health and medical education.