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Rupani will meet Gujarat governor today to stake claim for new govt

india Updated: Aug 06, 2016 10:50 IST
Vijay Rupani

File photo of Vijay Rupani with the former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel in Gandhinagar.(PTI Photo)

Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Vijay Rupani who was announced as the new chief minister of the state will meet governor OP Kohli on Saturday to stake claim to form a new government.

Health minister Nitish Patel, who was named as the deputy chief minster, will also join Rupani in meeting the Governor at 11 this morning in connection with forming a new government in the state.

The decision was surprising as Patel was the frontrunner for the post after Rupani bowed out of the race, saying he would like to work for the party.

In a crucial meeting attended by Amit Shah and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari at the party headquarters in Gujarat on Friday, the decision to make Rupani as the next chief minister was announced.

BJP’s central observer Nitin Gadkari said after the meeting that the decision was taken by party MLAs unanimously and through a democratic process.

The BJP central leadership had already made it clear that a state MLA would be assigned the job.

Anandiben Patel had tendered her resignation to the governor on Wednesday.

Governor OP Kohli has asked her to continue as the caretaker chief minster till the alternate arrangement.

Patel, who took charge as Gujarat’s first woman chief minister after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, had in a Facebook post earlier urged the BJP to relieve her from the coveted post, citing age concerns.

Patel said that she had sought to resign from the party two months before to give “enough time to the new incumbent to prepare for important events like the upcoming ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit”.

Her government was criticised for its handling of the outrage created by the public flogging of four Dalit men by self-styled cow protection groups.