Modi cabinet crosses all caste lines

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 03:52 hrs

Ahmedabad: Narendra Modi on Wednesday took oath as the chief minister of Gujarat for the fourth time, with 16 ministers, who come from across the caste spectrum in the state.

A huge, slogan-shouting crowd at the Sardar Patel stadium watched as Governor Kamla Beniwal administered the oath of office to Modi and the 16 ministers, seven of whom are of cabinet rank, with the remaining nine being ministers of state (MoS).

The dominant Patel community took the lion’s share of ministerial berths, with seven ministers, including three of cabinet rank, being sworn in. Others comprised Rajputs (2), Dalits (2), OBCs (2) and Adivasis (1).

Among Patels, Nitin Patel (urban development minister in the last cabinet) and Anandi Patel (revenue minister) were included this time, too. Saurabh Patel, minister of state for industries last time, has been elevated to cabinet rank.

Other Patel MLAs were Parbat Patel from Tharad, Rajnikant Patel from Bechraji, Govind Patel from Rajkot Rural and Nanu Vanani from Katargam, Surat were made MoS.

Two ministers of the Rajput community, one of cabinet rank and one MoS were sworn in. These were Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Pradipsinh Jadeja, respectively.

The Dalit community was given representation through Ramanlal Vora, who won from the reserved seat of Idar in Sabarkantha district. Another Dalit minister, Liladhar Vaghela from Deesa, was made MoS.

Among OBCs, Babu Bokhiria, who defeated Congress president Arjun Modhwadia by a huge margin, was given a cabinet berth. He is from the Mer community. Also, Koli leader Parshottam Solanki, who is facing charges for an alleged Rs 400 crore fishing contract allocation scam, was sworn in for the second time as MoS.

A tribal leader from the Mangrol constituency, Ganpat Vasava, was included in the cabinet for the first time, along with Bokhiria. Vasuben Trivedi and Jayanti Kavadiya also took oath as MoS.

About 30,000 people from across the state had come to witness the ceremony.

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