Gandhinagar, Dec 26: Vijay Rupani was today sworn-in as the Gujarat chief minister for the second consecutive time, while Nitin Patel took oath as his deputy, along with 18 other ministers, at an impressive ceremony here.
Governor O P Kohli administered the oath of office and secrecy to Rupani (61) and the other ministers at the ceremony, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and the chief ministers of the BJP- ruled states.
Rupani took oath along with nine cabinet-rank ministers, including Patel, and 10 ministers of state at the ceremony held near the state secretariat.
Rupani, sporting an orange jacket, and Patel greeted the chief ministers of the NDA-ruled states, before the ceremony began.
Earlier, Rupani and his wife offered prayers at the Panchdev Mahadev temple here, ahead of the ceremony.
Prominent dignitaries who attended the oath-taking ceremony included BJP veteran L K Advani, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Besides Patel, the other cabinet-rank ministers sworn-in were — Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, R C Faldu, Kaushik Patel, Saurabh Patel, Ganpatsinh Vasava, Jayesh Radadiya, Dilip Thakor and Ishwar Parmar.
The ministers of state who took oath were — Pradipsinh Jadeja, Parbat Patel, Jaydrathsinh Parmar, Raman Patkar, Parsottam Solanki, Ishwarsinh Patel, Vasan Ahir, Kishor Kanani, Bachubhai Khabad and Vibhavariben Dave.
Of the nine cabinet ministers sworn-in, five were retained from the previous ministry. Similarly, the 10 ministers of state sworn-in today included five from the earlier ministry.
While six ministers belong to the Patel community, Bhavnagar East MLA Vibhavariben Dave is the lone woman in the new ministry.
With 99 MLAs, the BJP has a simple majority in the 182- member Gujarat Assembly, 16 less than its 2012 tally of 115.
The opposition Congress, which had won 61 seats in 2012, managed to increase its tally to 77 this time around. The strength of the party and its allies in the new House is 80.
Rupani and Patel were elected as the leader and deputy leader of the BJP legislature party respectively at its meeting held on December 22.