Gandhinagar, Aug 7 (IANS) BJP leader Vijay Rupani on Sunday took oath as the 16th Chief Minister of Gujarat along with Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and 23 other ministers.
Governor O.P. Kohli administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Mahatma Mandir at an event witnessed by BJP President Amit Shah, veteran L.K. Advani and outgoing Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
Eight ministers, including Nitin Patel, took oath as the cabinet ministers while 16 took oath as ministers of state.
In a surprise move, nine ministers of the outgoing government, including Finance Minister Saurabh Patel and Social Justice Minister Ramanlal Vora, were dropped.
The total strength of new Council of Ministers has reached 25 while there were 24 ministers in the Ananidben government.
A total of eight ministers are from Patidar community, whose massive street protests posed the first major challenge to Anandiben who cited her age for stepping down as Chief Minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Rupani and Nitin Patel after they took oath, saying it marked the start of a new innings :to continue the development journey” of Gujarat.
“Congrats to Vijay Rupani, Nitinbhai Patel and others sworn in as they begin their innings to continue the development journey of Gujarat,” Modi tweeted.
He applauded Anandiben: “She has been working tirelessly for the people of Gujarat for many years.”
Chief Ministers Manohar Lal Khattar of Haryana and Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra also attended the event.