New Delhi: The BJP’s seventh term in Gujarat will begin today with a grand oath ceremony for Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who took over for Vijay Rupani in September last year ahead of the state elections.
Around 25 cabinet ministers will also swear allegiance to him. Contrary to fears of rising anti-incumbency, the BJP won a landslide victory in Gujarat, capturing 156 of the state’s 182 seats and 53% of the vote.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, and other central ministers will attend the ceremony in Gandhinagar.
Chief Ministers and allies from BJP-ruled states will also be present. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his Deputy Devendra Fadnavis are among those on the list. According to sources, BJP chief JP Nadda, senior leader BL Santosh, and MPs who campaigned in Gujarat will also be present.
According to sources, infrastructure and ceremony details have been finalized. The helipad in Gandhinagar, where the inauguration will take place, will be divided into three massive stages. The Chief Minister and his cabinet will be on the middle platform.
The Prime Minister and VVIPs will be seated on the platform to the right of the main stage. The one on the left will accommodate 200 sadhus from across the state who have been specially invited to the ceremony.
According to sources, the audience will include people from all communities, but Patidars, Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and women will be prioritized. Preferences have been given with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the 2026 state elections in mind, according to sources.
In this election, the BJP has made significant inroads among the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, which have traditionally been a Congress stronghold. However, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, which opened an account in the state this time, has managed to establish pockets of influence.
Patidars, long-time BJP supporters were dissatisfied with the party. However, with Hardik Patel switching from Congress to the BJP, the party is attempting not to upset the apple cart. Hardik Patel was elected from the Viramgam constituency, defeating Congress candidate Lakhabhai Bharwad by over 50,000 votes.