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First-time BJP MLA Bhupendra Patel to succeed Vijay Rupani as chief minister of Gujarat

 The BJP on Sunday named first-time MLA Bhupendra Patel as the next chief minister of Gujarat, a day after Vijay Rupani stepped down from the post.

New Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel with his predecessor Vijay Rupani (PTI photo)

The BJP on Sunday named first-time MLA Bhupendra Patel as the next chief minister of Gujarat, a day after Vijay Rupani stepped down from the post.

The announcement of his name and unanimous election was completed at a legislative party meeting at state party headquarters Kamalam earlier in the day. Bhupendra Patel's name was reportedly proposed by Vijay Rupani himself.

Bhupendra Patel won the 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections from Ghatlodia constituency, defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel.

Earlier, he served as a municipal councillor in Ahmedabad. He has been the chairman of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) and used to head the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation standing committee.

Patel is an engineer by education. He belongs to the Patidar community.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah congratulated Bhupendra Patel on his appointment as Gujarat chief minister and said he will infuse new energy and momentum into the state's development journey.

"Hearty congratulations and best wishes to Bhupendra Patel on being elected the leader of the BJP's legislature unit. I'm confident that under the guidance of Narendra Modi and your leadership, Gujarat's development journey will get a new energy and momentum and the state shall continue to be a leader in good governance and public welfare," Shah tweeted.

Vijay Rupani described Bhupendra Patel as a "capable" leader. "Bhupendra Patel is capable. We believe BJP will win the upcoming elections in the state under his leadership," he said.

Bhupendra Patel's daughter-in-law Devanshi Patel told ANI that the news had taken her by surprise as it was completely unexpected. "It's like Diwali today. This was never expected, a complete surprise for our family, even we saw it on the news," she said.


In being appointed the next Gujarat CM, Bhupendra Patel brushed aside stiff competition from deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, former minister Gordhan Zadafia, and Praful K Patel, administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Lakshadweep.

Besides them, Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya were also rumoured to be in the fray. In fact, as a first time MLA, Bhupendra Patel was nowhere in the race for Gujarat chief minister.


In a move that came as a surprise to many, Vijay Rupani resigned as Gujarat chief minister on Saturday.

It is believed that Vijay Rupani's resignation came after a meeting was held with senior BJP leaders during which the decision to remove him was taken.

According to sources, a strong anti-incumbency factor is being pegged as the reason to remove Rupani as CM. A survey was conducted by the RSS which showed that it would be difficult for the BJP to win the next election in Gujarat with Vijay Rupani as the face of their campaign.

The current situation is similar with the 2016 shift in power in Gujarat when the BJP had replaced Anandiben Patel as chief minister a year before assembly polls were due.

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