New Gujarat Cabinet Takes Oath Amid Dissent Over Sackings
Gujarat Cabinet Oath: Vijay Rupani resigned without protest and Bhupendra Patel took charge
The BJP had expected the change of guard in Gujarat to be smooth and all indications were that was how it was going to be with the Chief Minister's swearing-in going off without a hiccup. Vijay Rupani resigned without protest and Bhupendra Patel took charge without any opposition except for a few murmurs of dissent from the former Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who had expected the post would come to him.
However, the oath ceremony of the new cabinet of Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel -- slated to be held on Wednesday -- was deferred at the last minute after elaborate arrangements were made at the Governor's house and large hoardings were put up. Sources indicated that differences over the new council of ministers are the reason for the sudden rescheduling.
The oath ceremony is taking place at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar. The Chief Minister's Office tweeted on Wednesday saying, "The swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet of CM Shri @Bhupendrapbjp will take place tomorrow, September 16, 2021 at 1.30 pm at Raj Bhavan, Gandhinagar."
Sources have indicated that several senior ministers who fear they are being dropped are not willing to give in. And among them is Nitin Patel who is fighting to keep his place as Deputy Chief Minister.
However, sources indicate that chances of a revolt are minimal as the entire exercise is being engineered by Amit Shah on the insistence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after reports that winning in Gujarat could become a challenge if Vijay Rupani had continued as Chief Minister.
"Even the top leaders will have to accept whatever the leadership says because of the stature of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and no politician, especially in the BJP in Gujarat, can openly challenge the calls they take," an MLA, asking not to be named, told.
Home Minister Amit Shah had held a series of meetings after the swearing-in ceremony of Bhupendra Patel on Monday to sort out the issues over the council of ministers and the new cabinet. Sources say today's swearing-in is going to be the result of those deliberations and this is the setting in motion of the plans for 2022.