Why BJP made First-time MLA Bhupendra Patel as new CM of Gujarat

Bhupendra Patel is capable. We believe BJP will win the upcoming elections in the state under his leadership: Former Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced first-time MLA Bhupendra Patel as the next CM of Gujrat on Sunday, a day after Vijay Rupani stepped down from the CM post. The swearing-in of the new Chief Minister of Gujarat and the Cabinet is likely on Monday.

The 59-year-old Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel is a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Ghatlodiya constituency. In an unanimous election at a legislative party meeting at BJP state party headquarters in Kamalam on Sunday afternoon, Patel’s name was announced and reportedly proposed by the former CM Vijay Rupani himself.

“Bhupendra Patel is capable. We believe BJP will win the upcoming elections in the state under his leadership,” said Vijay Rupani to the Media.

C R Paatil, Gujarat BJP chief claimed, "We are confident of winning the upcoming elections under his (Patel's) leadership."

According to sources, Vijay Rupani (a close friend of Amit Shah to be believed) stepped down after RSS survey indicated that it would be difficult for BJP to win the next Gujarat election with Vijay Rupani as the party's face. Moreover, a feeling of anti-incumbency after 27 years of ruling the state of Gujarat might be another threat for BJP.  Before Rupani resigned from his post, two days ago Amit Shah suddenly visited Gujarat at night and left next morning.

Congress leader of Gujarat Paresh Dhanani said that the BJP removed Rupani to hide its failure.

However, Rupani's resignation as the CM comes 15 months before Gujarat goes to assembly polls in December 2022. Under Rupani’s Chief ministership in 2017 state election, BJP’s performance was very poor when the state BJP could only manage a thin majority with 99 in a 182 seats of Gujarat Assembly.  

Bhupendra Patel, a close aide of former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel won the 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections from Ghatlodia constituency, defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel by 117,000 votes which was the highest winning margin of that year.

Bhupendra Patel, a civil engineer and a builder of Ghatlodia, Ahmedabad, belongs to influential Patidar community enjoys good relations with traders. The Patidar community, very dominant, both in financially and politically holding nearly 12-15 percent of the total voter base in Gujarat State. Their vote share determines the mathematics in at least 70 of the 182 assembly seats and one third of Gujarat BJP's MLAs come from this community.  

Jayanta Guha

Consulting Editor

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