New Delhi: Bhupendra Patel will take oath as the 17th chief minister of Gujarat on Monday (September 13, 2021) ahead of the assembly elections in 2022. Bhupendra Patel will be replacing Vijay Rupani, who unexpectedly stepped down from the top post in the state.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat invited Bhupendra Patel to take oath as the new Gujarat chief minister of Gujarat at 2:20 pm on Monday. “The newly appointed leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Legislature Party, Bhupendrabhai Patel, presented a proposal to form a new government under his leadership at the Raj Bhavan. Accepting the proposal, he was invited to take oath as the Chief Minister on September 13, 2021, at 2:20 pm,” tweeted the Governor.
According to news agency ANI, Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Bhupendra Patel in Gandhinagar as Gujarat CM. “Home Minister Amit Shah will attend the oath-taking ceremony of Bhupendra Patel as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in Gandhinagar on Monday,” sources told ANI.
Talking to reporters on Sunday, State BJP president Paatil said, “Bhupendra Patel will take oath as the chief minister…Only the chief minister will be sworn in tomorrow.” He added the new cabinet will be formed after consultation with the senior leaders in a couple of days. No discussion was held in the legislature party meeting about the deputy chief minister’s post, he said.
Bhupendra Patel, who was also present there, told reporters that he was grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief J P Nadda, and Union minister Amit Shah for the trust they reposed in him.
He said he was also grateful to the trust reposed in him by the Gujarat leadership, including outgoing CM Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitin Patel, C R Paatil and other leaders. He said the blessing of former CM Anandiben Patel were with him all the time. “The government has worked well so that development reaches the last person. We will plan anew and discuss with the organisation to take forward the development works,” he said.
It is believed that Patel holds a strong influence in the Patidar community in Gujarat which the BJP party has banked upon to win the upcoming elections.
With Vijay Rupani’s resignation on Saturday as the Chief Minister, he became the fourth CM in the BJP-led state government in the country this year to opt for this move. Earlier, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat and Trivendra Singh Rawat tendered their resignations.
Fondly addressed as ‘Dada’ by his supporters, Bhupendrabhai Rajnikanthbhai Patel is set to become the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat.
The announcement of the 59-year-old BJP leader’s name as the Chief Minister-elect at a legislative party meeting of the BJP on Sunday came as a surprise for many as the low-profile MLA was not seen to be among the top contenders for the post.
However, BJP said the selection of Patel, a man known for his gentle personality and is said to be a protege of former chief minister Anandiben Patel was a unanimous decision by all leaders present in the party’s legislative meeting.
Till early Sunday morning, Patel was just another MLA attending small party events in his constituency, where he was panting saplings and planning next organizational programs.
Born in Ahmedabad, Patel is a first-time MLA from the Ghatlodia seat, a post previously held by Anandiben Patel, who is currently serving as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh with an additional charge of Madhya Pradesh.
He had won his maiden seat by a margin of 117,000 votes in 2017, the largest margin in that poll defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel. He grabbed more than 72 per cent of the vote share in the Ghatlodia constituency during the 2017 assembly polls.
राजभवन में भारतीय जनता पार्टी के विधायक दल के नवनियुक्त नेता श्री भूपेंद्रभाई पटेल जी ने अपने नेतृत्व में नई सरकार गठित करने का प्रस्ताव प्रस्तुत किया। प्रस्ताव को स्वीकार कर मुख्यमंत्री पद के शपथ ग्रहण के लिए उनको 13 सितंबर, 2021को दोपहर 2:20 बजे आमंत्रित किया। pic.twitter.com/gTZrUYKRdW
— Acharya Devvrat (@ADevvrat) September 12, 2021
Patel is, however, not a new face in politics and has served as the Ahmedabad municipal councillor. Patel, who holds a diploma in civil engineering, also served as the chairman of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA).
With Assembly polls in the state scheduled to be held in 2022, BJP went with Patel, a Patidar face for the Chief Minister. He is also a trustee at Patidar organizations Sardar Dham and Vishwa Umiya Foundation.
The Patidars are a dominant caste in Gujarat with a sizeable control over the electoral votes. The community also dominates the political economy with a stronghold over education, realty and cooperative sectors.
The choice of a Patel name is important for BJP because besides being a Patidar, he is also a Kadva Patel. He will be the first Chief Minister in Gujarat from the Kadva Patel community which forms nearly 12.4 per cent of the state’s population. Till now all the other “Patel” chief ministers of Gujarat were from the Leuva Patel community.
Patel has been invited on Monday by Governor Acharya Devvrat to the oath as the chief minister. BJP has said the decision regarding the new Gujarat cabinet will be taken later. The party is counting on Patel to navigate the party through tough waters during the upcoming assembly elections in 2022. In the 2017 state election, the BJP won 99 of the state’s 182 Assembly seats, Congress got 77 seats.