Construction, textile and diamond businessmen among ministers of Bhupendra Patel’s new cabinet
Co-ownership of a hotel, running a transport business, manufacturing textiles and diamonds and supplying water are some of the occupations of the new cabinet sworn in under the government led by Bhupendra Patel in Gujarat on Thursday. Some of the ministers did not allow registration, but are running successful businesses.
Of the 24 ministers sworn in at an elaborate event held in Raj Bhavan, 46% of them are related to some business or commercial activity.
While Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel runs a real estate company called Vihaan Associates, at least three ministers are associated with the construction industry. Jitendra Vaghani (51), former chairman of the Gujarat BJP who was sworn in as minister responsible for education, science and technology said in his affidavit filed for the 2017 Assembly elections that ‘he is in the construction business and is also a LIC agent.
Agriculture is an additional source of income for Vaghani who graduated in law.
The profile of Minister of Health and Family Welfare Rushikesh Patel (59) on the Gujarat Assembly website mentions that the member for Visnagar has a degree in civil engineering and works in the construction industry. Pradip Parmar (57), Aswara’s new Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in Ahmedabad, identifies himself as an “entrepreneur” associated with the construction sector. Parmar is the education qualification is limited to the 10th standard. His profile on the assembly’s website also identifies him as a water supplier and owner of a gas pump.
Another forestry and environment minister, Kiritsinh Rana (57), said he studied up to grade 10, but jointly ran a hotel. Limbdi’s deputy in Surendranagar, his other source of income is agriculture.
Kanu Desai (71), who will manage key finance, energy and petrochemicals portfolios, was general affairs director of a Vapi-based chemicals manufacturing entity, United Phosphorus Limited (UPL). With a degree in business and law, Desai started his career as an assistant manager at United Phosphorus Limited in Vapi and became the manager.
Among the ministers in charge of independence, Harsh Sanghavi (36) of Majura in Surat, who is, among other portfolios, the MoS of Home and Police Housing, is a manufacturer of diamond jewelry and owns Arushi Gems. His wife Prachi also runs a gemstone and jewelry business. Sanghavi, who will hold an independent office as Minister of Sports, Ban and Border Protection, studied up to grade 9 and states in his affidavit that he and his wife both earn from trading in diamond jewelry.
Jagdish Vishwakarma (Panchal) (48) is another sworn minister in charge of cooperation, industries and climate change, who is in the manufacture of textile machinery and is also a “developer”. He is an undergraduate student who studied up to the second year of bachelor’s degree at the University of Gujarat. Another independent minister responsible for fisheries, Jitu Chaudhary (57), cited agriculture and trade as his main source of income.
Among the other ministers of state, Mukesh Patel (51) who represents the headquarters of Olpad describes himself as an “entrepreneur”. Patel is MoS for agriculture, energy and petrochemicals. Arvind Raiyani (44), a first deputy from the seat of Rajkot (east), is dedicated to silver jewelry making and agriculture. In Leuva Patel, Raiyani enjoys the trust of former CM Vijay Rupani and is MoS for transport, civil aviation and tourism. In the same way,
Mahuva Headquarters MoS Raghav Makwana (51) is in the transport sector and is the new MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment.
(Entrances from Gopal Kateshiya, Kamaal Saiyed)