After Rupani resigns ,BJP surprisingly choose Bhupendra Patel as Gujarat CM

13th Sep,2021

After Rupani resigns ,BJP surprisingly choose Bhupendra Patel as Gujarat CM

On Saturday, When Vijay Rupani moved to the Raj Bhavan to hand in his resignation as Chief Minister at the directions of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command , many party leaders and workers, and media persons, began wondering instantly on the names that could be the next Chief Minister. Excited conversations here have mainly based around 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, and others.

59-year-old first time legislator Bhupendra Patel never appeared in any of this discussion, including by the top BJP leadership in Gujarat. Even the otherwise always well-knowlegeable top corporates in the State were in the dark till Mr. Patel’s name was declared in a meeting at the BJP’s headquarters in Gandhinagar.

Before he became a legislator from the Ghatlodia seat in 2017, which earlier was held by former CM and now Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, “Bhupendrabhai” held the significant positions of chairman of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority, and chairman of various committees of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, including its top decision-making Standing Committee. Yet he always continued to be a low profile party worker who choosed to work silently.

It’s possible that his low profile and Ms. Anandiben’s trust procured him the desired position of the Chief Minister of the home State of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Always soft-spoken and mild-mannered, Mr. Bhupendra Patel is a party leader who favours not to be a part of either the limelight or controversy.

His astonishing selection as the Gujarat Chief Minister 15 months ahead of the vital Assembly polls in 2022 shows that the party’s top leadership has rested its faith in his unproven abilities as a State-level leader.

The party seems to have leaned upon two factors in launching him to the CM’s chair — first, he is a Patidar leader and has strong connections with the community’s social service outfits in Ahmedabad, and secondly; and as a builder with long involvement in civic and urban management, he can certify cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara remain BJP bastions in the coming polls.

This is likely to oppose the Aam Aadmi Party’s attempts to gain a foothold in Gujarat’s cities, where the BJP enjoys one-sided dominance electorally even as the Congress remains cramped to a few pockets dominated by Dalits and minorities.