Prayers, meetings and orders: Bhupendra Patel has a packed day before taking oath as Gujarat CM
Bhupendra Patel, Gujarat chief minister-designate, on Monday offered 'gau puja' at Swaminarayan Temple in Ahmedabad, met with his predecessor Vijay Rupani as well as deputy, Nitin Patel, and instructed officials in Jamnagar to help people stranded after the flood-like situation in the district. Bhupendra Patel, a surprise pick by the Bharatiya Janata Party, will be sworn in as the 17th chief minister of Gujarat at 2.20pm. Union home minister Amit Shah and Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai are among the leaders who are expected to attend the ceremony.
Before that, Bhupendra Patel called on Vijay Rupani, who resigned from the top post last week, 15 months ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections scheduled to be held in late 2022. Patel, a first-time legislator who has never held any ministerial position, met Rupani at his official residence in Gandhinagar in the morning and held discussions on various issues, a release issued by the state government said.
After Rupani resigned on Saturday, Patel, who represents the Ghatlodia assembly seat in Ahmedabad, was unanimously elected as the BJP legislative party leader on Sunday.
PTI reported citing a government release that Bhupendra Patel instructed district authorities in Jamnagar to make necessary arrangements to airlift about 35 people stranded in three villages, which have been inundated and cut off from other parts of the district amid incessant rain. The Jamnagar district's disaster management wing has said that the Indian Air Force has been requested to airlift people stranded in some of the villages of Kalavad and Jamnagar talukas.
Bhupendra Patel called on deputy chief minister Nitin Patel at his residence on Monday morning. Nitin Patel told reporters that Bhupendra Patel and he are friends and they share family relations. "He visited my house to meet me. I greeted him... I am there to offer any help that he requires from me," Nitin Patel added. He said he has known Bhupendra Patel for a long time and had even inaugurated his MLA office in Ghatlodia after he won from that assembly constituency. The deputy chief minister also said he offered his best wishes to Bhupendra Patel on Sunday, soon after he was chosen for the top post.