Chief Minister Vijay Rupani retained General Administration Department (GAD), Industries and other key departments, while his deputy Nitin Patel seemed to have been cut to size in allocation of portfolios, which was announced late on Thursday.Eight cabinet-level and 10 state-level ministers kept waiting for five hours for the CM and his deputy to arrive for cabinet meeting. The two were in a meeting for hours at the CM’s official residence.There were signs that all was not well, and there were differences over allocation of cream portfolios. The meeting, which was to begin at 5 pm, finally started at 9 pm.State BJP chief Jitu Vaghani also joined the big Two at the meeting, and it is believed that calls were made to party’s central leadership owing to differences in allocation of ministries.The Cabinet meeting ended shortly before 10 pm, after which the CM announced the portfolios.Finance and Urban Development, two key departments which Nitin Patel was handling in the previous government, were allocated to others. While Rupani kept Urban Development for himself, Finance went to Saurabh Patel, who was not a part of Rupani’s first government, and was making a comeback in the ministry.Nitin Patel has been allocated Road & Building, Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, Narmada, Kalpasar, and Capital Planning.Not surprisingly, Patel didn’t come across very happy while sitting next to the CM when the list was made public.Giving the reason for delay, Rupani said, “All our central leaders were busy with discussions on the triple talaq bill debate which was going on in Parliament today. That is why we could not consult them on portfolios and the process got delayed. No one is disappointed nor is there any disagreement on portfolio distribution. Nitinbhai is also happy.”However, Nitin Patel avoided media persons. The CM also informed that ministers and officials, during the meeting, discussed purchase of groundnut from farmers at minimum support price and a Gujarat High Court order related to the Fee Regulation Act.Besides Urban Development, the chief minister has kept GAD, Industries, Home, Ports, Mines and Minerals, Information, Petroleum, Planning, Climate Change, and Science & Technology.Former state BJP chief RC Faldu, a first-time minister, has been given charge of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Road Transport.Bhupendrasinh Chudasama retained Education, Higher and Technical Education, Law & Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Salt, Cow Conservation and Civil Aviation.Kaushik Patel, making a comeback to the Cabinet after ten years, has been made Revenue Minister.Besides Finance, Saurabh Patel has also been given charge of Energy, the ministry he handled for over 14 years.Ganpat Vasava has got Tribal Development, Tourism, Forests, and Women and Child Welfare.Jayesh Radadiya will be the minister for Civil Supplies, Cottage Industries, Printing and Stationery.Dilip Thakor has been assigned Labour and Employment, Disaster Management, and Yatradham Development.Ishwar Parmar, the junior-most among the Cabinet ministers, has been made minister of Social Justice and Empowerment (SC welfare, SEBC welfare).Among ministers of state, Pradipsinh Jadeja retains Home. He will also be MoS for Energy, Parliamentary Affairs, Law, Judiciary, and Police Housing, and hold independent charge of police Housing, Border Security, Civil Defence, Gram Rakshak Dal, Jail, Excise & Prohibition, NRG and Protocol.Parbat Patel has been given independent charge of Irrigation and Water Supply, while Parsottam Solanki has been given fisheries.Bachu Khabad will hold charge of Rural Housing, Rural Development, Animal Husbandry and Cow Conservation.Jaydrathsinh Parmar will be MoS agriculture, and hold independent charge of Panchayat and Environment.Ishwar Patel has been given independent charge of Cooperation, Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities. He will also be MoS of road transport.Vasan Ahir is MoS for SEBC Welfare.Vibhavari Dave, the lone woman in the ministry, has been given Women and Child Development, Education (primary and higher education), and Yatradham.First-time minister Raman Patkar has been given Forests and Tribal Development, while another debutant Kishor Kanani has got health and family welfare, and medical education.
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