Bhupendra Patel to be new Gujarat Chief Minister, to take oath tomorrow

Published on Sep 12, 2021 04:19 PM IST
Bhupendra Patel is an MLA from the Ghatlodiya assembly constituency. He was elected as the new leader of BJP Legislative Party on Sunday.
Bhupendra Patel, the new Gujarat chief minister, has long association with the RSS
Bhupendra Patel, the new Gujarat chief minister, has long association with the RSS
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Bhupendra Patel will be the chief minister of Gujarat, the party decided on Sunday in its meeting to pick up the successor for Vijay Rupani, a day after Rupani resigned. Bhupendra Patel became an MLA in 2017 from the Ghatlodiya assembly constituency in Gujarat after defeating Congress's Shashikant Patel by a margin of over 1,17,000 votes. He also chaired the standing committee of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. 

"Bhupendra Patel elected as the new leader of BJP legislative party," Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar said announcing Patel's name as the next CM. The meeting to decide a successor of Vijay Rupani began at 3pm in the presence of central observers Tomar and Prahlad Joshi. It has been decided that the new CM will take oath on Monday. 

With a year left before the state goes to the polls, the removal of Rupani was seen as BJP's usual process of pre-poll shake-up, following feedback from the grassroots level. All eyes were on the crucial choice that the party makes to replace Vijay Rupani and observers believe that once again the party has gone for an unusual choice. Bhupendra Patel is not only the first time chief minister of the state but also a first-time minister.

After Rupani resigned, several names were doing the rounds but choosing Bhupendra Patel was a surprise decision of the BJP as he was not among the frontrunners.  

Apart from Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel's name was doing the rounds as a probable successor to which he reacted and said the new CM will have to be popular, strong, experienced and the one who is known and acceptable to all. "I am not here to express my personal opinion on the possible name. The exercise to elect the next chief minister is not just a work to fill in a vacancy. Gujarat should get a successful leadership so that the state can develop, keeping all together," PTI quoted Nitin Patel as saying before the meeting started.

State BJP chief CR Paatil, who was also believed to be one of the contenders dismissed the speculation on Saturday and said he was not in the race. "Vijay Rupani has resigned from his post today. Naturally, there are a lot of names in the media for the new Chief Minister, including my name. I want to make it clear that I am not in any such race. Together with the new chief minister appointed by the party and Vijay Rupani, we will achieve our target of winning 182 out of 182 seats in the next assembly elections and work to strengthen the party," Paatil said.

Rupani was the fourth chief minister to have resigned this year following Uttarakhand's Trivendra Singh Rawat, Tirath Singh Rawat and Karnataka's BS Yediyurappa.

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