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Bhupendra Patel took oath as Gujarat’s 17th Chief Minister at the Gandhinagar Raj Bhawan a day after the High Command unanimously elected him as the leader of the BJP legislature party. Immediately after Governor Acharya Devvrat swore him in, Mr Patel took charge at the Chief Minister’s Office. He held a meeting with the top bureaucrats to review the flood situation in Jamnagar and Rajkot in the Saurashtra region. The Chief Minister directed the officials to ensure that people in the low-lying areas are shifted to safer locations as the State is expected to see torrential rains for the next 4-5 days.

Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Ministers of Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana and Union Ministers Mansukh Mandaviya, N.S. Tomar, Pralhad Joshi, Parshottam Rupala, Bhupender Yadav and others attended the swearing-in ceremony, which lasted a few minutes as only the Chief Minister took the oath of office and secrecy.

Bhupendra Patel will choose his cabinet.

Another function was to administer the oath to the Cabinet members after the names were decided. According to sources, Mr Shah, Mr Patel, and other leaders will decide on the cabinet’s names. However, the party is likely to drop many senior leaders and members of the outgoing cabinet to bring in new faces. Party wants to infuse dynamism in the administration.

There is yet no clarity on the continuation of the Deputy Chief Minister post. “We don’t know yet whether the party makes a new Deputy Chief Minister or just Cabinet Ministers”. A leader said. It is not clear whether Nitin, outgoing Deputy Chief Minister, will become part of the cabinet or not. Patel cried before media persons after BJP overlooked him but subsequently stated he had no issues with the party. He was a disciplined worker of the BJP. He also denied media reports that he was not happy with the party’s top leadership’s decision to pick Mr Bhupendra Patel. A first-time legislator and protege of Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, as the successor of Vijay Rupani.

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