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Modi expands cabinet, reshuffles portfolios


Gandhinagar: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi expanded his council of ministers Wednesday, inducting six new ministers of state, taking the ministry’s total strength to 27.

The portfolios of three ministers of states were reshuffled.

The six ministers – Liladhar Vaghela (Deodhar), Ishvarbhai Patel (Ankleshvar), Ranjit Gilatwala (Surat), Jitu Sukhadia (Vadodara), Jaydratsinh Parmar(Halol) and Mohan Kunderia(Tankara) – were sworn in by Governor Kamala Beniwal at a simple ceremony on the lawns of Raj Bhavan.

Two of those sworn-in, Parmar and Patel, were already parliamentary secretaries. This is the second cabinet expansion in six months and follows less than a week after Modi inducted eight partymen as chairmen of state public sector boards and corporations.

With this expansion, Modi has completed the ministerial strength of 27 permitted under the constitutional arrangement.

The new inductees were allotted portfolios later in the day.

While Liladhar Vaghela was given labour and employment, Mohan Kunderia got rural development, Jaydratsinh Parmar roads and buildings, Jitendra Sukhadia tourism, food and civil supplies and non-resident Gujaratis(NRSs), Ishvarbhai Patel cooperation, sports, youth and cultural affairs, and Ranjit Gilitwala cottage industries and planning.

The portfolios of three other ministers of state were reshuffled.

Minister of state Saurabh Patel, who earlier held civil aviation, cottage industries, salt industries, printing and stationery (independent charge), industries, mines, minerals, finance, energy and petrochemicals, now gives up cottage industries, salt industries, printing and stationary.

Minister of state Jashwant Bhabhor, who earlier held tribal development, rural development, labour and employment, has shed rural development and labour and employment. He has picked up panchayat and rural housing.

Similarly, Minister of State Parbat Ahir, who had water supply, cooperation, health and family welfare, has given up cooperation portfolio.