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BJP's show of strength in Gujarat as Rupani takes oath

Vijay Rupani to be sworn in as Gujarat CM for second time on December 26

Vijay Rupani, who took oath as the 16th chief minister of Gujarat on Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and host of dignitaries, appears to have done a balancing act in his new ministry.

Rupani and some one-and-a-half dozen other ministers were administered the oath of office by Gujarat Governor O.P. Kohli at a grand ceremony in state capital Gandhinagar, attended by Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP chief Amit Shah and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states.

Patidar ministers include former state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Ranchhodbhai Chanabhai Faldu who represents the Jamnagar South constituency, Kaushik Patel representing Naranpura constituency, and Minister of State Kishor Kanani, among others.

BJP won the Gujarat Assembly election for the sixth time with a clear majority of 99 seats in the 182-member assembly.

BJP ally Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar also attended along with his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi.

The average assets of the 20-member council of ministers headed by Vijay Rupani is Rs 13.34 crore, with 18 of the 20 ministers being crorepatis.

"With the party's prominent Dalit, tribal and OBC leaders losing, Rupani is facing a challenge to build a new leadership for these sections in his government", said a senior BJP leader.

Bhupendrasinh Manubha Chudasama, who won the Dholka constituency seat with a meagre margin of 350 votes, was sworn in.

Along with him 9 Cabinet ministers and 10 Minister of State also took the oath. "My best wishes to this team in their endeavour to take Gujarat to new heights of progress", Modi said.

Modi, who was Gujarat's Chief Minister between 2001 and 2014, went nostalgic and shared pictures of the ceremonies when he took oath in the past. The bond between Gujarat and BJP is extremely special.

Preparations underway for the swearing-in ceremony of the Vijay Rupani government at the secretariat ground in Gandhinagar.