Vijay Rupani Sworn-in As Gujarat CM; PM Modi, Nitish Kumar in Attendance
Unlike his previous tenure, Rupani in his second innings would be facing a resurgent, aggressive and numerically larger opposition.
Vijay Rupani takes oath. (TV grab)
New Delhi: Vijay Rupani has been sworn-in as the Gujarat chief minister at a mega show in Gandhinagar on Tuesday morning. Almost all senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah are attending the event. Even Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is attending the event and is seated next to Nitin Gadkari.
Rupani and his deputy Nitin Patel were administered the oath of office by Gujarat Governor Om Prakash Kohli.
PM Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, LK Advani, Yogi Adityanath, senior ministers of the Union council and chief ministers from 18 BJP-ruled states are attending Rupani's swearing-in ceremony in Gandhinagar.
Vijay Rupani, who was roped in as a replacement of former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, will enjoy his first term as a full-time chief minister with this.
With more than two dozen MLAs, including six ministers, failing to return to the newly-constituted Gujarat Assembly, the BJP government in the state may see some new faces making the cut. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s first challenge is in picking his new team and striking the regional and caste balance.
With BJP’s OBC face and Health Minister Shankar Choudhary losing the elections, the party is looking for a new backward leader to take his place as the opposition Congress has invested in young leaders like Alpesh Thakor in the elections to mobilise backward communities for future electoral gains.
Similarly, cabinet minister and Dalit leader Atmaram Parmar had lost the elections. The BJP needs to find a suitable replacement for him as well. Congress supported Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani won the elections from Vadnagar as an independent and the party may aggressively deploy Mevani in the days ahead— both within and outside Gujarat.
Unlike his previous tenure, Rupani in his second innings would be facing a resurgent, aggressive and numerically largest opposition in decades. The Gujarat Assembly will also have a new speaker this time around as the incumbent Ramanlal Vora has also lost the election. Two former Chief Minister Shankar Singh Vaghela and Anandiben Patel also did not contest.
Rupani was always the front-runner for the CM’s post. Moreover, the BJP knew replacing Rupani at this juncture would send the signal that all is not well. In the recently concluded polls, BJP retained power by winning 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, while the Congress claimed 77. Six seats went to others, including three Independents.
According to sources, names of at least three other leaders were discussed for chief ministership — Union ministers Smriti Irani and Mansukh Mandaviya, and Nitin Patel.
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