Vijay Rupani, Nitin to take oath as Gujarat chief minister today


Surat: Vijay Rupani will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Gujarat today, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Stage is all set for Vijay Rupani and Nitin Patel to be sworn-in as chief minister and deputy CM, respectively, at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on Sunday. The duo will shoulder the responsibility of steering BJP to victory in the high stakes 2017 assembly polls in the state, which has been grappling with Patidar stir and dalit unrest.

Apart from senior BJP leaders including Amit Shah, finance minister Arun Jaitley, L K Advani, M M Joshi and others, chief ministers of BJP ruled states namely Rajasthan's Vasundhara Raje Scindia, MP's Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Maharashtra's Devendra Fadnavis will at tend the function.

On Friday, Rupani met governor O P Kohli and staked claim to form the government. "Governor has given the go-ahead for oath taking ceremony on Sunday. Rupani will be sworn in as CM at 12.39 pm," BJP Gujarat in charge Dinesh Sharma told the media.Outgoing CM Anandiben Patel was conspicuous by her absence.
After meeting the governor, Rupani announced his resignation as president of Gujarat BJP.

Ahead of swearing-in, the Rupani-Patel duo sought blessings from veteran BJP leader Keshubhai Patel at his residence. "This is the first time that a DyCM has also been appointed by BJP. I hope both of them contribute together to Gujarat's development," Keshubhai said who declined to attend the ceremony citing ill-health. B JP president Amit Shah, Dinesh Shar ma and organizational general secre tary held a meeting at BJP headquarters Shri Kamalam to brainstorm over ministers to be inducted in the new cabinet.

Rupani and Patel, who put up a united front travelling in the same vehicle a day after their dramatic appointments, also took hectic meetings during the afternoon with senior party leaders and ministers to discuss likely names to be inducted in their cabinet. Top party sources said that around 27 ministers will be administered the oath along with Rupani and Patel.

Key BJP functionaries said Rupani's team will have at least eight to 10 new faces in a bid to balance caste equations ahead of polls while two ministers of state will be elevated to the cabinet rank.

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