'Won't let BJP down': Bhupendra Patel promises as he is chosen to be Gujarat CM
Bhupendra Patel, who has been chosen by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the next Gujarat chief minister to replace Vijay Rupani, said he would take the development journey of the state forward. In his first media address after being nominated by the party as the new chief minister, Patel also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other senior BJP leaders. "First of all, I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, JP Nadda and Amit Shah from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank all the leaders of Gujarat BJP, including CR Patil and the team of Vijay Rupani," Patel in his first media address after being nominated by the party as the new chief minister.
Patel said he will not let the party down. "The faith that party showed me, I will not let it break. I will take forward the incomplete development work in the state. We will move forward by keeping the organisation along," he added.
A BJP spokesperson told news agency PTI that PM Modi called Patel on Sunday and congratulated him. Bhupendra Patel, who is known to keep a low profile, will take oath on Monday at Raj Bhavan. "No one else will take the oath with him as the name of Deputy Chief Minister is not decided yet," Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil said on Sunday.
Bhupendra Patel's predecessor Vijay Rupani, who stepped down as Gujarat chief minister on Saturday, praised him. "Bhupendra Patel is capable. He has a very gentle personality which surely helps in this development work ahead," Rupani told reporters soon after Patel was elected as the new Gujarat chief minister in the BJP's legislative party meeting held on Sunday. "We believe the BJP will win the upcoming elections in the state under his leadership," Vijay Rupani added.
With assembly polls in the state scheduled to take place in late 2022, the BJP opted for Patel, a Patidar face as the Gujarat chief minister. The Patidars are a dominant caste in the state
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with a sizeable control over the electoral votes. The community also dominates the political economy with a stronghold over education, realty and cooperative sectors.
The 59-year-old Bhupendra Patel is an MLA from the Ghatlodia seat, which was previously held by Anandiben Patel, who is the current Governor of Uttar Pradesh. Patel, a first-time MLA had won his seat by over 117,000 votes in 2017, the largest margin in that poll defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel.
He has served as chairperson of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and also chaired the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). Patel has also served as municipal councillor in Ahmedabad.
Bhupendra Patel will take the oath of office at 2:20pm on Monday, according to the governor's office.
(With agency inputs)