Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s Gujarat government allotted the portfolios to the newly appointed ministers after holding the first Cabinet meeting at Swarnim Sankul here late on Thursday night. The delay in announcing portfolios led to talk of disputes among ministers over departments allotted to them. Rupani denied any such dispute.
He said the announcements got delayed because he was scheduled to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Himachal Pradesh government. “And today, due to the preoccupation of our top leadership over the Bill related to Tripple Talaq in the parliament, our consultation with them was done late in the evening,” he said.
The departments kept by Rupani are general administration, industries, home, urban development, ports, information and broadcasting, mines and minerals, petroleum, climate change, planning, science and technology and all other departments which have not been allotted to any minister. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has been allotted roads & buildings, health and family welfare, medical education, Narmada and, Kalpasar and Capital Project.
The important portfolio of agriculture has been entrusted to R C Faldu, who has also been allotted rural development, fisheries, animal husbandry and transport. Bhupendrasinh Chudasama has retained the departments of education, law and justice and legislative and parliamentary affairs. He has also been given the portfolios of the salt industry, cow breeding and civil aviation. In the previous government, Chudasama had also held the department of revenue. The revenue department has been given to Kaushik Patel.
Saurabh Patel, making a comeback in the government, has got the important departments of finance and energy. In the other Cabinet-rank ministers, Ganpat Vasava has got the portfolios of tribal development, tourism, forest and woman & child development. Jayesh Radadiya has been named minister for food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, cottage industry and printing and stationery. Dilip Thakor has retained the department of labour and employment and has also got portfolios of disaster management and pilgrimage.
Ishwar Parmar, a Dalit minister in the government, will be handling the department of social justice and empowerment. In the state-rank ministers, Pradipsinh Jadeja has got the most important portfolios as Minister of State (MoS) for home, energy, legislative and parliamentary affairs, and law and judiciary. He will also be holding the independent charge of police housing, border security, civil defence, gram rakshak dal, jail, prohibition, excise, NGO coordination, Non-Resident Gujarati cell and protocol.