Modi hands out portfolios, keeps nine for himself


Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday allocated portfolios to his new, 16-member cabinet while keeping with himself nine departments including home, industries and ports.

Nitin Patel, entrusted with four departments including key ones like finance and health, has emerged as the most important Cabinet member after Modi. Patel, who replaces Rajkot West MLA Vaju Vala, will soon present his budget. Vala, who has been MLA since 1985, holds the record of presenting budgets 18 times. He has been appointed pro tem Speaker.

Modi's close aide Anandi Patel, whose margin of victory in the Assembly polls was the highest, retains her revenue portfolio, besides urban development, urban housing development, road and buildings.

Saurabh Patel, who won from Akota and was the minister of state for industries in the last government, has now been elevated as a cabinet minister with key portfolios like energy, mines and minerals, petrochemicals, civil aviation and tourism that he held in his last stint too.

Saurabh's elevation was expected, given the fact that he is in-charge of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2013, to be held in January.

Industries will be looked after by Modi himself since he has not appointed any minister of the state for it.

Bhupendrasinh Chudasma has been given education along with law and justice, panchayat housing board and civil supplies.

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