Gujarat has a new CM: Bhupendra Patel to take oath today after BJP appoints him to replace Vijay Rupani
Bhupendra Patel is to take oath today as new Chief Minister of Gujarat after being chosen by BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) to replace Vijay Rupani. This appointment was a surprise for many party leaders, party workers and media personnel as speculations made rounds after Vijay Rupani submitted his resignation on Saturday at BJP high command’s instructions. The assumptions for next Gujarat CM included outgoing Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, and the Administrator of the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Lakshdweep Praful Patel, among others.
Bhupendra Patel, the 59 year old first time legislator, was never a name that crossed in this speculated list. Yet his name was announced at a BJP meeting in Gandhinagar on Sunday as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Who is Bhupendra Patel?
“Bhupendrabhai” is known for his soft, quite, non-controversial, low profile and unassuming demeanor. Before becoming a legislator in 2017 from Ghatlodia seat in Ahmedabad, Mr. Patel held important positions as Chairman of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority, and chairman of various committees of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, including top decision-making Standing Committee.
It is possible that his low profile and non-controversial conduct earned him the confidence of PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to hold the crucial position of next CM of Gujarat.
“When Anandiben was Chief Minister, he was the chairman of the very powerful urban development authority, and had the direct trust of and access to the CM, but he never bragged about it,” said a BJP party leader in Ahmedabad. “His name was not dragged in any land deal or any realty project in the city, even when he was holding important positions in the relevant authorities.”
Patel is scheduled to take oath as Gujarat CM on Monday, September 13 at 2:20 pm. Home Minister Amit Shah is also expected to attend the swearing in ceremony. “The newly-appointed leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s legislature, Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, presented a proposal to form a new government under his leadership, at the Raj Bhawan. Accepting the proposal, he was invited to take oath as the Chief Minister on September 13, 2021 at 2:20 pm,” Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat tweeted about the ceremony.
What does the appointment ensue for party in future?
Patel’s appointment 15 months ahead of Assembly election in 2022 is considered a strategic move and shows leadership’s faith in an ‘untested’ leader’s abilities. Experts suggest Patel’s appointment was based on two factors, both crucial for 2022 Assembly polls – first, he is a Patidar leader with strong associations with the community’s outfits in Ahmedabad; secondly, his experience as a builder in civic and urban management, he can ensure cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara remain BJP strongholds in the polls.
“First of all, I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, JP Nadda and Amit Shah from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank all the leaders of Gujarat BJP, including CR Patil and the team of Vijay Rupani,” Patel said in his first media address after being nominated as the new chief minister. “The faith that party showed me, I will not let it break. I will take forward the incomplete development work in the state. We will move forward by keeping the organization along,” he added.