Elections in 5 states: BJP to consolidate Scheduled Caste votes, SC Morcha demands reservation in all universities
CM Patel to have little say in cabinet selection?
For the first time, observers remain present during meetings; criteria set for potential candidates
Gandhinagar: The prerogative to pick cabinet ministers may lie with the chief minister, but the induction of first-time MLA Bhupendra Patel may be why observers are to remain present for the selection.
Sources have confirmed that a meeting of all Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs will be convened at Gandhinagar on Wednesday at 12 noon to discuss potential cabinet members. Formal announcement on the cabinet will be made on Thursday.
Another first for a state cabinet will be selection of candidates not on the basis of caste, creed, district representation and regional balance, but, on recommendations of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and BJP Gujarat President C R Patil.
On Monday night, former Gujarat in-charge and Union Minister of Labour & Employment Bhupender Yadav was back in the state. And before leaving for Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had a meeting with Yadav.
Sources have claimed that Shah has issued instructions to Yadav about the criteria for cabinet selection.
Sources added that on Tuesday early morning, Mahuva (Surat district) MLA Mohanbhai Dhodiya, Vagra MLA Arunsinh Rana, Navsari MLA Piyush Desai and Himmatnagar MLA Rajendra Chavda had a one-on-one meeting with the BJP chief CR Patil.
This could mean that Ishwar Parmar (Bardoli), Ishwarsinh Patel (Ankleshwar), who were ministers in the previous cabinet, may not find a berth in the new one. If Raopura MLA Rajendra Trivedi and Vadodara city MLA Manisha Vakil are included in the cabinet, it may be indicative of Yogesh Patel’s exit.
The biggest challenge faced by the ruling party will be selection of minister of state for home, which is considered to be a very important portfolio politically.
According to sources, Patil wants Majura gate MLA Harsh Sanghvi to take the chair, Anandiben wants Amraiwadi MLA Jagdish Patel and UHM Amit Shah wants Shashikant Pandya or Visnagar MLA Rushikesh Patel to be the next MoS home.
Union Minister Devusinh Chauhan has been lobbying for BJP chief whip Pankaj Desai, who is a Leuva Patel from Central Gujarat, to bag a seat at the council of ministers too.