1st time MLA Patel is new Gujarat CM
- Ex-CM Rupani proposes Bhupendra’s name
- Oath-taking ceremony of CM Bhupendra today
Gandhinagar: First-term MLA Bhupendra Patel will be the new Chief Minister of Gujarat. Patel (59) was unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader here on Sunday. He will be sworn in as the chief minister on Monday, state BJP chief C R Paatil said.
The proposal to elect him the legislature party leader was moved by CM Vijay Rupani, whose resignation on Saturday, over a year ahead of the state Assembly polls, surprised many political observers. Most of the 112 MLAs of the party in the 182-member Assembly were present at the meeting, BJP sources said.
Soon after the meeting, Patel, accompanied by senior BJP leaders, met Governor Acharya Devvrat at the Raj Bhavan. Patel presented a letter to form the government, which was accepted by the governor, the sources said.
In Monday's swearing-in ceremony, only Patel will take oath and other ministers will be inducted later, they said.
Patel's name was not in the long list of probables being discussed in state political circles and he emerged as the dark horse, a political observer said. A soft-spoken leader, Patel has had a meteoric rise in state politics, starting at the municipality level and on way to becoming the CM in his first term as an MLA.
He contested his maiden Assembly election from Ghatlodia constituency in Ahmedabad in 2017 and won by over 1.17 lakh votes, the highest victory margin in the state during that election. Fondly called 'Dada' by many (Rupani is called 'Bhai'), Patel is considered close to former Gujarat chief minister and present Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel.
His Assembly constituency is part of the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat represented by Union minister Amit Shah. He holds a diploma in civil engineering, always has a smiling face and is well-connected to the grassroots, a party worker said.
Talking to the media after his election as the BJP legislature party leader, Patel thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and BJP president J P Nadda for placing their trust in him. On his mentor Anandiben Patel, Patel said he is glad to have her blessings.