Hyderabad: Bhupendra Patel, the protégé of BJP leader and UP governor Anandiben Patel, has been elected as the new chief minister of Gujarat. He is an MLA from Ghatlodia seat, which was previously held by Anandiben.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) legislative meeting on Sunday in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar was held to elect a new chief minister. It gave rise to many speculations until finally Bhupendra Patel’s name was cleared. The ruling party in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state had to look for a face for the state as ex-chief minister Vijay Rupani resigned from his post on September 11.
Vijay Rupani’s resignation was an unexpected move ahead of an assembly election given that Gujarat is going to polls next year. Rupani has been the chief minister of Gujarat from 2017 and as things stand there isn’t sufficient clarity on what led to his resignation.
Speaking to the reporters outside Raj Bhavan after his resignation, Rupani said he was thankful to the BJP leadership for giving him an opportunity to serve as the chief minister and added that a change of leadership is a natural part of the process. Rupani added that he will continue to work under the leadership of the BJP national president.
BJP Central observer Narendra Singh Tomar, who attended Sunday’s meeting at Gandhinagar, met state party president CR Paatil in the morning. BJP The saffron party appointed Union ministers Tomar and Prahlad Joshi as observers to to elect a new chief minister after Rupani quit two days ago.
“We have come here to hold further discussions on the issue (new chief minister). We will discuss it with state BJP leaders,” Tomar said at the airport, according to a news18.com report. Rupani’s resignation comes just 15 months before the 182-member Gujarat state Assembly goes to elections in December 2022.
Rupani (65, is also the fourth chief minister to quit his post in BJP-ruled states during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He was was sworn in as chief minister in December 2017. According to various media reports, BJP’s general secretary BL Santhosh and Gujarat state unit in-charge Bhupender Yadav also met party leaders soon after Rupani announced his resignation.