BJP Strikes Caste, Regional Balance In Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel's Cabinet, See List Of Gujarat Ministers

Bhupendra Patel was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on Monday along with 16 Cabinet colleagues. Ministers' portfolios will be announced later.

Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel with Cabinet colleagues and PM Narendra Modi at the swearing-in ceremony

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Bhupendra Patel was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on Monday. 

Besides Patel, 16 Cabinet ministers were also sworn in. They included eight cabinet ministers, two ministers of states (MoS) with independent charge, and six ministers of state. The portfolios are not yet known are expected to be announced later in the eveninig. 

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by the who's who of the BJP, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top Union ministers.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah BJP-ruled states' chief ministers such as Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan attend the swearing-in ceremony. 

In the Gujarat cabinet, the BJP has appeared to have struck caste and regional balance.

List of Gujarat ministers

The Gujarat cabinet consists of 16 ministers besides Patel.

Gujarat Cabinet ministers:

Kanu Desai, Rishikesh Patel, Raghvji Patel, Balvantsinh Rajput, Kunvarji Bavaliya, Mulu Bera, Kuber Dindor, and Bhanuben Babariya

Gujarat Ministers of State (Independent Charge):

Harsh Sanghvi and Jagdish Vishwakarma

Ministers of State: 

Parshottam Solanki, Bachu Khabad, Mukesh Patel, Praful Pansheriya, Kuverji Halpati, and Bhikhusinh Parmar

Ministers have not yet received portfolios. It is expected that portfolios will be announced later on Monday evening. 

Gujarat Cabinet caste, region balance:

The other backward classes (OBCs) comprise around 52 per cent of Gujarat population, as per government figures. This is reflected in the Cabinet composition as OBCs have the maximum share of Cabinet posts.

The Indian Express provides the following caste-wise composition of the Gujarat Cabinet:

  • OBC     - 7
  • Patidar  - 4
  • ST         - 2
  • SC        - 1
  • Brahmin- 1
  • Jain       - 1
  • Rajput  -  1

Of the seven OBC ministers are Bavaliya, Khabad, Solnaki, and Mukesh Patel, Vishwakarma, Parmar, and Bera. 

The three Patidar ministers are Raghavji, Rishikesh, and Praful.

The two ST ministers are Halpati and Dindor.

The only one SC minister is Babariya.

The three upper caste ministers are Sanghvi (Jain), Desai (Brahmin), and Rajput (Kshatriya).

The ST voters had traditionally been Congress supporters but BJP won most of the ST seats too in the elections. Of the 27 ST-reserved seats, the BJP won 23.

This is representative of the broader election results in which the BJP won an unprecedented victory by winning 156 of the total 182 seats and drove Congress to the margins with just 17 seats. The Gujarat election results were in sharp reversal of the previous electionr results when the BJP barely scraped victory with 99 seats and the Congress gave a tough fight by winning 77 seats.

Journalist Vasudha Venugopal noted that the BJP has also struck a regional balance in the Cabinet.

"Balancing act by BJP in new Gujarat cabinet. Sixteeb people take oath. Five each from Saurashtra, Saurashtra, three each from North, Central. Portfolios to be announced in the evening," said Venugopal in a tweet.

Gujarat Cabinet a mix of old and young faces

Of the 16 Gujarat ministers, 11 have been part of previous governments.

Of the 11 former ministers who were inducted into the Bhupendra Patel government 2.0, seven were part of the government led by him from September 2021 to December 2022. 

They are Harsh Sanghavi, Jagdish Vishwakarma, Kanubhai Desai, Rushikesh Patel, Raghavji Patel, Kuber Dindor and Mukesh Patel. 

Four others including Solanki, Bera, Khabad, and Bavaliya had served as ministers in the BJP governments in the past.

(With PTI inputs)