The chief minister's office in Gujarat confirmed that the oath taking ceremony will be held at 1.30 pm in the state capital Gandhinagar on September 16. (Representative image)
New ministers of the Bhupendra Patel-led government in Gujarat will take oath on September 16. It was earlier slated to be held on September 15, but it was deferred for a day, after several ministers were unhappy as they suspect they will not be part of the new cabinet in the backdrop of the party's "no repeat" formula.
The BJP earlier said that the ceremony would be held in the afternoon on September 15 and preparations for the same had already started at the Raj Bhavan. Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas, in the morning of September 15, said the ceremony was scheduled after 2 pm in Gandhinagar on the day, reported news agency PTI.
While police were deployed in considerable numbers, a stage, erected inside the Raj Bhavan, was also given final touches to host the event. Even the banners put outside the Raj Bhavan had mentioned September 15 as the date for the swearing-in ceremony.
However, in the afternoon, all the banners were taken down all of a sudden. Later, the chief minister's office confirmed that the ceremony will be held at 1.30 pm in the state capital Gandhinagar on September 16.
"The swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet of CM Shri Bupendra Patel will take place tomorrow, September 16 at 1:30 pm at Raj Bhavan, Gandhinagar," the CMO tweeted last evening.
Neither the BJP nor the state government gave any reason for the postponement. But it has been reported that several former as well as senior ministers, who were part of former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's Cabinet, are apparently unhappy with the leadership as they suspect they will not be part of the new cabinet as per the BJP's newly proposed "no repeat" formula, said the news agency citing its sources.
By postponing the swearing-in ceremony, sources said BJP leadership has actually bought time to pacify several big wigs, who may have been upset for being axed.
The new cabinet to come after Patel (59), a first-time MLA from Ahmedabad, took over as the new Gujarat chief minister on September 13 after the sudden resignation of Rupani on September 11.
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In the defense of "no repeat" formula, a top BJP leader said the party received huge success in the recently-held local body polls in Gujarat because new faces were given tickets, it said.
Many believe the "no repeat" formula has been proposed keeping in mind the 2022 Assembly polls as the BJP, in power in Gujarat for more than two decades, wants to go to voters with a clean slate.