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Ahmedabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday inducted 24 members, including 21 who debuted as ministers, into the four-day-old Bhupendra Patel-led ministry, discarding all ministers in the previous Vijay Rupani-led regime in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, a year ahead of the assembly polls.
The newly appointed Gujarat chief minister kept a host of departments including home with himself and didn’t appoint any deputy.
The post of deputy chief minister was held by Nitin Patel during the Rupani government.
Since its formation in 1960, Gujarat has seen five deputy chief ministers, three of them during the Congress-led dispensations. Nitin Patel has been the longest-serving deputy chief minister in the state, who was appointed to the post in August 2016.
At the cabinet swearing-in and portfolio allocations on Thursday, nobody was named deputy chief minister.
“Last time, Nitin Patel was made deputy chief minister as it was the requirement of that time,” party sources said.
In 2016, when the BJP replaced Anandiben Patel, she had insisted on appointing Nitin Patel as her successor. However, the party wanted Vijay Rupani to occupy the top post. Therefore, Nitin Patel was made the deputy chief minister as a compromise, they said.
This time, deputy chief minister was not required, so nobody was given the responsibility, the sources said.
Chimanbhai Patel, Kantilal Ghia and Narhari Amin were deputy chief ministers in the state during the Congress governments at different points, while late BJP leader Keshubhai Patel had occupied the post for a few months in 1990 during the coalition government.
Besides the home ministry, chief minister Patel will hold the charge of general administration department, information and broadcast, industries, mines and minerals, capital projects, urban development, urban housing and Narmada and ports, an official release said.