Ahmedabad : In a move that came as a surprise to many, Ghatlodia MLA Bhupendra Patel was on Sunday unanimously elected by MLAs of the BJP in Gujarat as their leader to succeed Vijay Rupani, who resigned from the top post on Saturday. Patel will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister on Monday.
Patel, a first time MLA from Ghatlodia, met Governor Acharya Devvrat and staked claim for being the next Gujarat Chief Minister. He was accompanied by former chief minister Vijay Rupani and state BJP chief CR Patil along with other party leaders.
Union Minister N.S. Tomar who was one of the observers appointed by the BJP for the process of selection made the announcement. He said Patel’s name was proposed by Rupani, who insisted on being the proposer for the new chief minister.
Patel fought from the Ghatlodia seat with a margin of over 1,17,000 votes against Shashikant Patel from the Congress party. The seat was earlier held by former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel who resigned and later was appointed as a governor.
A local BJP leader, with an old association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Patel has earlier served in the local municipal bodies, also serving as a municipal councillor in Ahmedabad.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigned on Saturday as Chief Minister of the state leaving questions over who could be his successor.
Rupani, 65, represents Rajkot West assembly constituency. He had taken over as Chief Minister of Gujarat in August 2016 when Anandiben Patel had quit the office in the wake of agitation by Patidar community leader Hardik Patel.
Rupani’s resignation by default means resignation of the state cabinet. Meetings were held in Ahmedabad on Saturday and Sunday by top leaders of the party and a meeting of the core group of the party was held before the meeting of the MLAs.