Bhupendra Patel to take oath as 17th Gujarat CM today, Amit Shah to attend ceremony
Bhupendra Patel will on Monday take oath as the 17th chief minister of Gujarat, replacing Vijay Rupani, who unexpectedly stepped down from the top post in the state, ahead of the assembly elections in 2022. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s choice of the 59-year-old as the chief minister at a legislative party meeting on Sunday came as a surprise for many as the low-profile, first-time legislator was not seen to be among the top contenders for the post. The BJP has said the decision regarding the new Gujarat cabinet will be taken later.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat invited Bhupendra Patel to take oath as the new Gujarat chief minister of Gujarat at 2:20pm on Monday. "The newly appointed leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party's Legislature Party, Bhupendrabhai Patel, presented a proposal to form a new government under his leadership at the Raj Bhavan. Accepting the proposal, he was invited to take oath as the Chief Minister on September 13, 2021, at 2:20 pm," tweeted the Governor.
According to news agency ANI, Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Bhupendra Patel in Gandhinagar as Gujarat CM. “I believe that under the guidance of Narendra Modi, the state’s sustainable development will keep up its momentum,” Amit Shah tweeted on Sunday.
Patel met Devvrat at Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar on Sunday to stake a claim to the top post in the state and was accompanied by his predecessor Vijay Rupani and a delegation of BJP leaders.
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Born in Ahmedabad, Bhupendra Patel is an MLA from the Ghatlodia seat, previously held by former chief minister and now Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel. Patel is known to be close to Amit Shah as well as Anandiben Patel. Patel won his seat by over 117,000 votes in 2017, the largest margin in that poll defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel. Ghatlodia is part of the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat represented by Amit Shah.
Bhupendra Patel has served as the Ahmedabad municipal councillor. Patel, who holds a diploma in civil engineering, also served as the chairperson of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). He is also a trustee at Patidar organisations Sardar Dham and Vishwa Umiya Foundation.
With assembly polls in the state scheduled to be held in 2022, the BJP is banking on Bhupendra Patel, a Patidar, to lead the party. In the last assembly elections held in 2017, the BJP won 99 of the state's 182 seats and Congress got 77.
The Patidars are a dominant caste in Gujarat with a sizeable control over the electoral votes and they also dominate the political economy with a stronghold over education, realty and cooperative sectors.
(With agency inputs)