Bhupendra Bhai Rajnikanth Bhai Patel, MLA from Ghatlodia in Amdavad, has been elected as the new legislature party leader of BJP in Gujarat. He will succeed Vijay Rupani who has resigned as the CM of the western state for enabling the leadership to strengthen the government and the ruling BJP 15 months ahead of the assembly elections.
Yangon born, Vijay Kumar Ramniklal Rupani, 65, elected from Rajkot West to the state legislative assembly in the 2016 assembly elections, had headed the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the prosperous western state from 7 August 2016 to 11 September 2021. The BJP legislature Party was also considering Mansukh Mandaviya the Union Health Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel apart from Bhupendra Patel as the possible successor to Mr. Rupani. Rupani reportedly failed to make course corrections as suggested by central leaders.
Bhupendra Patel, 59, first-time MLA, was declared unanimously elected leader of the BJP legislators on Sunday, September 12 in the presence of central observers. CM-elect Bhupendra Patel will take oath tomorrow, no one else, said State BJP chief CR Patil at a press conference. Patel won the 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections from Ghatlodia constituency, defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel by over one lakh votes, the highest winning margin in the 2017 Gujarat polls. Patel will be sworn in on Monday. BJP had appointed Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Prahlad Joshi as central observers for the legislature party meeting to elect the new chief minister. Rupani said Bhupendra Patel is “capable” while exuding confidence in BJP’s win in the forthcoming assembly election. “Bhupendra Patel is capable. We believe BJP will win the upcoming elections in the state under his leadership,” he said. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has congratulated Bhupendra Bhai Patel and hoped that the state’s development journey will get new energy and momentum with this decision. He was a confidante of UP Governor Anandiben Patel when she was Gujarat CM. He was chairman of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) and has also led the Standing Committee of Amdavad Municipal Corporation (AMC). A diploma holder in civil engineering, he is from Patidar Community which influences results of more than 70 assembly constituencies out of a total of 182 in the state legislative assembly. Citing Paresh Dhanani, Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha, The Indian Express reported that the state government will be remote-controlled like it was before. It is only that the power centre has been shifted from HM Amit Shah. The remote is with Anandiben Patel, ex-CM . “The state government has mismanaged Covid -19 management”, Paresh Dhanani added. Edited by PK Chakravarty