Anandiben Patel on Thursday took over the reins of Gujarat as its first woman Chief Minister, succeeding Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi.
Governor Kamla Beniwal administered the oath of office and secrecy to Patel, 73, who will be heading a 21-member ministry, which includes four new faces. Although Patel, who was Revenue, Urban Development and Disaster Management Minister in the Modi Cabinet, dropped corruption-tainted Purshottam Solanki, two controversial names, Porbandar strongman Babu Bokhiriya and Shankar Chaudhary of Radhanpur, were sworn in.
Top BJP leaders, including Modi, Rajnath Singh, L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Subramanian Swamy, Nitin Gadkari, Venkaiah Naidu and Amit Shah, attended the swearing-in, besides CMs Raman Singh, Manohar Parrikar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Vasundhara Raje and Parkash Singh Badal.
A teacher-turned politician and the longest serving BJP minister in Gujarat, Patel, after her swearing-in here at Mahatma Mandir, said, “Very few parties choose women as leaders. BJP has given a woman CM to Gujarat. So not only I, but each and every woman in Gujarat is feeling like CM.”
Talking to reporters after the event she said, “This is a big responsibility for me and I will work towards fulfilling this responsibility.”
Cabinet ministers in the new government are Nitin Patel, Saurabh Patel, Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, Ganpat Vasava, Ramanlal Vora and Babu Bokhiriya. Four new MLAs — Kanti Gamit, Bachchu Khabad, Tarachand Chheda and Shanker Chaudhary — were sworn in as Ministers of State.
Three MoSs from the Modi ministry — Vasan Ahir, Parbat Patel and Solanki — have been dropped. According to sources, their performance in the Lok Sabha elections had come under scanner. The four new have been selected keeping caste and region balance in mind.
Modi used to have a 24-member ministry.