Ministers in Gujarat Cabinet 2.0

Days after Bhupendra Patel took charge as Gujarat’s Chief Minister, his new Cabinet took oath at the Raj Bhawan in Gandhinagar on Thursday.

The 24 ministers sworn in to Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel's cabinet Thursday. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Central Gujarat

Rajendra Trivedi (65)
Cabinet Minister for Revenue, Disaster Management, Law & Justice, Science, and Parliamentary Affairs

The former Speaker of Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Trivedi is a science graduate and did Law from the MS University (MSU). As a criminal lawyer in Vadodara, he argued cases from the post-Godhra communal riots in 2002, and defended some of the accused in the Best Bakery case. Before contesting the 2012 Gujarat Assembly polls, Trivedi served a Corporator of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation for two terms. A Brahmin, Trivedi was elected for two consecutive terms from Raopura Assembly constituency in Vadodara city. He gave up legal practice in 2016 after he was inducted as a Minister of State (MoS) in-charge of Youth, Sports and Cultural Affairs and Pilgrimage Development departments.

Kuber Dindor (51)
Mos Higher and Technical Education, Science, and Parliamentary Affairs

Dindor, 51, is an MLA from Santrampur Assembly Constituency of Mahisagar district with a PhD from Sardar Patel University who did MA from LD Arts College in Ahmedabad. Dindor, who is associated with educational institutions in Santrampur is a first-time MLA. In his affidavit filed for the 2017 Assembly polls, he has declared assets of Rs 10.94 crore. Dindor’s personal website describes his value as that of the Bhartiya Janta Party’s Hindutva ideology. It says, “Bharitya Janata Party is committed to Hindutva, an ideology articulated by Indian independence activist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar… Hindutva is cultural nationalism favouring Indian culture over westernisation, thus it extends to all Indians regardless of religion.”

Nimisha Suthar (39)
MoS Tribal Development, Health and Family Welfare, and Medical Education

Nimisha Suthar, 39, has completed her Diploma in Electrical Engineering and Computer Programming. She contested and won the 2013 Assembly bypolls first time from the Scheduled Tribe seat of Morva Hadaf in Panchmahals district, and also won the Assembly bypolls held in April this year after the death of sitting independent MLA Bhupendrasinh Khant who was disqualified over his caste certificate. Suthar won the 2021 bypolls by defeating Congress candidate Suresh Katara by a margin of over 45,000 votes. Katara has now challenged Suthar’s caste certificate submitted during the bypolls in a petition before the Gujarat High Court.

Manisha Vakil (46)
MoS (Independent) Women and Child Development, Social Justice and Empowerment

The 46-year-old second-term MLA from Vadodara City Assembly Constituency is the first woman legislator from Vadodara to be inducted into the cabinet. Considered a close aide of Anandiben Patel, Vakil was a teacher before being fielded as an SC candidate from the reserved seat of Vadodara city in 2012. Vakil has been credited for “raising the concerns and demands” of citizens regarding the extension of the Disturbed Areas Act. In 2017, ahead of the assembly polls, following Vakil’s request, the Home Department had included prominent residential colonies in her constituency under the Act. Pushing the deman, Vakil wrote to the home department saying it was to “maintain communal peace and order”.

Arjunsinh Udaysinh Chauhan (45)
Cabinet Minister, Rural Housing and Rural Development

Arjunsinh Chauhan, 45, a first-time MLA from Mehmadavad Assembly Constituency in Kheda district, has been an RSS Swayamsevak for 20 years after completing his Truthya Varsh Shiksha (3rd year OTC of the Sangh). He is a commerce graduate and has a Diploma in Cooperative Management. The Kshatriya leader runs a Pandit Deendayal Grahak Bhandar. He has been the Kheda district president of the BJP in 2020-21 and was the general secretary of the district unit in 2016-17.

South Gujarat

Purnesh Modi (56)
MOS Roads and Buildings, Transport, Civil Aviation, Pilgrimage Development

A BJP MLA from Surat West, Modi is a lawyer by profession and belongs to Modhwanik community, the community that PM Narendra Modi hails from. He contested bypolls and won from Surat West seat in 2013, after the death of BJP sitting MLA Kishor Vankawala. Coming from the rival camp of state BJP president CR Paatil, he filed a defamation suit against Congress scion Rahul Gandhi in 2019, which is on trial in the Surat district court. Modi, who has B.Com and LLB degrees, was the BJP president of Surat city from 2010 to 2016. He contested assembly polls from Surat west seat in 2017 and won.

Naresh Patel (53)
MOS Tribal development, Food Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs

BJP MLA for two consecutive terms from Gandevi seat and Vansda seat in Navsari district, Naresh Patel is a Dodhiya Patel, a tribal community. He studied till Class 10 and is a farmer by profession. A close aide of state BJP president CR Paatil, Patel courted a controversy in March 2019, when he had made statements against tribals during a public address at a gathering of Sarpanches and BJP workers at Surkhai village in Chikhli Taluka.

Kanu Desai (71)
MOS Finance, Energy and Petrochemicals

An MLA from Pardi seat in Valsad district, Desai is a graduate and an Anavil Brahmin. He started his career as assistant manager with United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) in Vapi and became the general manager before retiring. Desai contested Assembly election and won from Pardi seat in Valsad in 2012 and 2017. He has been active in BJP since 2008. At present, he is the director of Corporate Affairs at UPL at Vapi.

Harsh Sanghavi (36)
MOS Sports, Co-ordination of voluntary organisation, Non-Resident Gujarati, Civil Defence, Gram Rakshak Dal, Home, Jail, Prohibition Excise, Youths and Cultural activities, Border security, Co-ordination of voluntary organisations, (independent charge). Home and Police housing, Disaster Management.

An MLA from Majura seat, Sanghavi belongs to Jain community and is the son of a diamond merchant of Surat. Having studied till Class 9, he is into diamond business along with his wife. He was made the State General Secretary of Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 2010 and also National vice-president of BJYM in 2017. He contested and won for two consecutive times in 2012 and 2017 from Majura seat in Surat. He was youngest candidate of BJP in the state to win 2012 assembly polls. Harsh Sanghavi is close to state BJP president CR Paatil.

Veenu alias Vinod Moradia (56)
MOS Urban development and Urban housing

A Leuva Patidar hailing from Saurashtra, Moradia who studied till Class 10 is a businessman by profession. He was BJP municipal councilor for three terms from Ved road ward no. 9 and later contested and won 2017 assembly election from Katargam 166 seat in Surat city. He is also president of Samast Moradiya community Surat. He is termed a close aide of BJP MP from Surat city and union minister of state for Railways and textile Darshana Jardosh.

Mukesh Patel (51)
MOS Petrochemicals, Power, and Agriculture

An MLA from Olpad seat in Surat district, Patel belongs to Koli Patel community. He did Draughtsman Civil after Class 12 and is a farmer and contractor. He was personal assistant to BJP MLA of Olpad Kiritbhai Patel in 2007. Later, he made good influence among the party’s top leaders and due to his bonding with BJP MP from Surat city and Union minister of state for railways and textiles, Darshana Jardosh, he got a ticket and contested from Olpad in 2012 and won. He won again from same seat in 2017.

Jitubhai ChaudharI (57)
MOS Kalpsar project, Fishery industry (independent), Narmada, Water Supply

An MLA from Kaprada seat in Valsad, Chaudhari who passed class 9 is a tribal from Kukna community. He was a four-term Congress MLA and resigned from Congress ahead of Rajya Sabha polls in June 2020 to join the BJP. He contested from same seat and won the bypolls in November 2020, as a BJP candidate. Chaudhary is a farmer by profession.


Jitu Vaghani (51)
MOS Education, Science and Technology

Two-time MLA from Bhavnagar (west), Vaghani was born in a banker’s family hailing from Leuva Patel community. He lost his maiden Assembly election to Shaktisinh Gohil of Congress in 2007. Later on, he was made president of the Yuva BJP, the youth wing of the party. He won Assembly election for the first time in 2012 and retained his seat in 2017. After Vijay Rupani became CM in 2016, Vaghani was appointed president of Gujarat unit of the BJP and was replaced by CR Paatil in July last year. He holds degrees in commerce and law and is a builder by profession.

Raghavji Patel (63)
MOS Agriculture, Animal husbandry and Cattle Preservation

Six-time MLA from Jamnagar district, Raghavji was born in a Leuva Patel family. He joined Congress in 1975 and contested his first Assembly election against Keshubhai Patel in 1985 from Kalavad seat in Jamnagar district a Congress candidate but lost. He then defected to BJP and served as a minister in governments of Suresh Mehta, Shankersinh Vaghela and Dilip Parikh. In 1999, he returned to Congress and won Assembly elections in 2007 and 2012. He defected to the BJP for a second time in 2017 but lost the election. Later he won the bypoll as a BJP nominee. He holds a degree in law and besides agriculture, he’s also associated with educational institutes.

Kiritsinh Rana (57)
MOS Environment and Forest, Climate Change, Printing and Stationery

Five-time MLA from Limbdi seat in Surendranagar, Rana, a Kshatriya, won his maiden Assembly election in 1995, which was a bypoll. He won Assembly elections in 1998 and 2007 served as animal husbandry minister in then chief minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet. However, he lost the 2012 polls to Soma Ganda Patel but won the subsequent bypoll after Patel, then a sitting MP from Surendranagar, resigned as MLA. Rana lost 2017 Assembly election, again to Patel. But Patel resigned one more time as MLA last year and Rana won the bypoll. Besides farming, he is into hospitality business.

Brijesh Merja (63)
MoS(independent charge) for Labour, Employment, Panchayat and Rural Housing

Second-time MLA from Morbi seat in Morbi district, Merja is a Kadva Patel hailing from Maliya taluka. He was a deputy director in the information department of the state government before he quit the job in 2003 to join politics and made his electoral debut in 2007 from Tankara Assembly seat as a Congress candidate but lost. In 2014, he defected to the BJP only to return to Congress in 2017 but crossed over to BJP in June 2020 one more time and won the bypoll. A commerce graduate with a diploma in journalism, he is a farmer and is associated with a private school. His younger brother is an IAS officer. He had served as personal assistant to a number of ministers before he contest his maiden election in 2007..

Arvind Raiyani (44)
MoS for Transport, Civil Aviation, Tourism and Yatradham Development

First-time MLA from Rajkot (east) seat in Rajkot city, Raiyani is a Leuva Patel who dropped out of school after Class 9. He served as president of BJP Yuva Morcha unit for Rajkot city. He won election to Rajkot Municipal Corporation in 2010 and 2015 as BJP candidate. He servedas the leader of the ruling party in the RMC before the party fielded him for Assembly election from Rajkot (east). A Vijay Rupani confidant, Raiyani won the election. He is into silver jewellery manufacturing and agriculture. He had declared 185 kg of silver and 700 gm of gold jewellery as his assets in his election affidavit.

Raghav Makwana (51)
MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment

First-time MLA from Mahuva seat in Bhavnagar, Makwana joined politics in mid-1990s and served as secretary and then as vice-president of BJP Bhavnagar unit. His wife Bhavna contested Assembly election from Talaja and Mahuva seats in 2007 and 2012 respectively and won. In 2017, Raghav defeated Kanu Kalasariya, former BJP MLA who had fallen out with Narendra Modi after leading a campaign against proposed cement plant of Nirma in Mahuva. Makwana hails from Koli community and besides farming, also runs a transport business. He dropped out of while pursing a diploma in engineering.

Devabhai Malam (62)
MoS for Animal Husbandry and Cattle Preservation

First-time MLA from Keshod seat in Junagadh district, Malam is a school dropout farmer hailing from the Koli community. He was elected to Juangadh district panchayat twice before being fielded by the BJP in the 2017 Assembly election from Keshod, a seat dominated by Patidars. Despite the shadow of the Patidar quota stir looming over the 2017 election, Malam won it. In fact, he was the only BJP candidate to emerge victorious in Junagadh that has five Assembly seats. He had served as a director of Gujarat State Sheep and Wool Development Corporation and is also an agro-input dealer.

north Gujarat

Rushikesh Patel (60)
MOS Health & Family Welfare, Medical Education

A native of Sundhhiya village Mehsana, Rushikesh Patel has done Diploma in Civil Engineering and is associated with construction business. A third-time MLA, Patel is also president of Mehsana District Cricket Association. He is also active in Visnagar Agriculture Produce Market Committee. Patel’s Visnagar constituency constituency came into caste-based politics of Gujarat in 2015 when a Patidar rally seeking OBC status for the community, led by Hardik Patel, had turned violent and vandalized Patel’s office while also setting it on fire.

Pradip Parmar (57)
MOS Social Justice & Empowerment

Parmar is one of the two MLAs who have been inducted by CM Bhupendra Patel in his Council of Ministers. An MLA from Asarva constituency, Parmar is one of the two Dalit faces of the new cabinet. Parmar is considered as a close confidante of Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja. It is believed that Parmar has been included in the cabinet since Jadeja has been dropped. Born in Ahmedabad, Parmar is into business related to construction, water supply and petrol pump.

Jagdish Panchal (48)
MOS (independent) Cottage Industries, Cooperation, salt Industries, Protocol, Industries, Forest, Environment & Climate Change, Printing and Stationery

Born in Ahmedabad city, Panchal is elected from Nikol constituency of East Ahmedabad which was one of the hotspots of Patidar quota agitation in 2015. Panchal, who belongs to OBC community, has also done MBA in marketing and was associated with the business of textile machinery. Earlier,
Panchal was also the president of Ahmedabad city unit of BJP.

Kirtisinh Vaghela (52)
MOS Primary, Secondary and Adult education, Water Resources and Water Supply

An MLA from Kankrej constituency in North Gujarat region, Vaghela is one of the two Kshatriya faces of the new cabinet. He was born in Akba village of Chanasma block of neighouring Patan district. He did study till under graduation, said an official release. He is attached with the activities of farming and animal husbandry. He has shouldered various responsibilities in the party unit of Gujarat BJP, the highest being the vice-president of Kisan Morcha of the state unit.

Gajendra Parmar (43)
MOS Food & Civil Supply and Consumer Protection Affairs

Parmar is an OBC MLA who has been elected from Prantij constituency of Sabarkantha district in North Gujarat which is considered as a Congress stronghold in the state. He is among the young ministers in the Cabinet. He has studied till Third Year of Bachelor of Arts and is associated with the activity of farming and animal husbandry.

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