September 15, 2021 12:25:17 am
Following the swearing-in ceremony of Bhupendra Patel as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, BJP state party in-charge and Union Minister Bhupender Yadav Tuesday held consultations with party MLAs and leaders including former CM Vijay Rupani and former Deputy CM Nitin Patel here with reference to the formation of the council of ministers.
Party sources said that the official date for the announcement of the council of ministers and its swearing-in ceremony is not yet final, but is likely to be held on September 16.
Bhupendra Patel has taken an oath of office on Monday, but he is yet to decide the names for his council of ministers. And because of the flood situation in Jamnagar, Patel has proceeded to the district to oversee the relief and rescue operations there.
This is the fourth instance in Gujarat’s history that the CM has taken oath alone and the council of ministers will take oath afterwards. Earlier, the first BJP CM in Gujarat Keshubhai Patel had taken oath as CM without ministers on two occasions in 1995 and 1998. In October 2001, Narendra Modi also took an oath of office as Chief Minister alone and the ministers in his government were sworn in after nine days.
BJP party sources said that while Yadav has held consultations with the party MLAs and leaders before the names for the council of ministers are finalized. Yadav had held separate consultations with Rupani and Nitin Patel as well. The final list is likely to be ready by Wednesday evening. After that, an official word will be out on the date and time of the swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers. It is to be noted that Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who attended the swearing-in ceremony of CM Bhupendra Patel on Monday, had also held a closed-door meeting with Patel and Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil before leaving late in the night.
A senior party leader said, “The names for the council of ministers are likely to be finalized by Wednesday evening. After that, if the flood situation in Saurashtra does not worsen, the swearing-in ceremony of the ministers is likely to be held on Thursday. It can be delayed only if the flood situation deteriorates and becomes a higher priority of the government than the swearing-in of new ministers.”
Sources said that all the party MLAs have been asked by the party authorities to reach Gandhinagar by Wednesday evening.
Government sources said that they did not get any intimation about the swearing-in ceremony from the ruling party dispensation till Tuesday evening. They added that given the active monsoon, the venue of the swearing-in ceremony is likely to be Mahatma Mandir instead of a temporary shamiyana.
Meanwhile, speculations are rife about the formation of Bhupendra Patel’s cabinet of ministers. Vijay Rupani government had a total of 23 ministers including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.
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