India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state of Gujarat has won a record victory for the ruling BJP. The BJP, which has been in power for nearly three decades in the state, has started its journey to rule the state for the seventh term. Bhupendra Patel took oath as the 18th Chief Minister of the state in Gandhinagar on Monday afternoon. Governor Acharya Devarath administered the oath to him as per the schedule.

According to Indian media, the name of Bhupendra Patel was sealed as the new leader of the BJP after its huge success in the Gujarat elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP National President JP Nadda attended the swearing-in ceremony in Gandhinagar. Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states were also present on the occasion.

After the swearing-in of the chief minister, the prospective ministers of the state took oath. Initially, 17 people took oath. There are indications that almost every member of the previous cabinet will be retained in the new cabinet. Bhanuben Babaria took oath as the only woman representative of the cabinet.

A BJP source said the cabinet will be expanded in a few days and the number of members could be 28.

200 saints from different parts of the state were present in the audience for the swearing-in ceremony. Dalit and backward class representatives were also present. The BJP had earlier said that representation of all sections of the society would be ensured in the cabinet.

BJP got huge success in the recently concluded Gujarat assembly elections. They have won 156 out of 182 seats in the state. In 2021, Vijay Rupani was replaced by Bhupendra of clean image as the chief minister to deal with the institutional opposition in the state.

(Dhaka Times / 12 December / SAT)