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Vijay Rupani Named Gujarat Chief Minister, Nitin Patel is Deputy CM

Vijay Rupani , the new CM of Gujarat. (Picture courtesy: Twitter)

Vijay Rupani , the new CM of Gujarat. (Picture courtesy: Twitter)

Like most BJP leaders, Rupani has had his roots in the RSS and the ABVP, the students' wing of the BJP.

State BJP president Vijay Rupani was on Friday named the next chief minister of Gujarat while senior minister Nitin Patel - who was a frontrunner till the last moment - was made the deputy chief minister.

Rupani's appointment comes after former CM Anandiben Patel resigned from the post earlier this week citing her age, adding that she wanted younger leaders to takeover the reigns of the party prior to the 2017 state assembly elections.

Rupani, who belongs to the Jain Baniya community is a first-time MLA of the BJP from Rajkot West constituency and also the state water resources minister.

Like most BJP leaders, Rupani has had his roots in the RSS and the ABVP, the students' wing of the BJP.

Prior to contesting the Rajkot West assembly seat that was vacated by Vajubhai Vala, who was appointed the Governor of Karnataka, Rupani's political career was confined to Saurashtra region of the state.

He was a councillor and subsequently the mayor of the Rajkot civic body, and also a Member of Parliament from Rajkot.

Over the past year-and-a-half, Rupani gained a political stature within the BJP and emerged as a front runner for the post of CM.

During the Patidar reservation stir, he was seen as the leader with the healing touch, often making the peacemaking moves even as disgruntled Patels threatened to desert the BJP.

Earlier on Friday morning it was almost certain that senior minister Nitin Patel would make it to the top post. Patel was also seen giving interviews to TV channels and almost spoke like a future chief minister.

But, his proximity to outgoing chief minister Anandiben Patel seems to have gone against him, considering the fact that Anandiben and BJP president Amit Shah never shared a good relationship and were always at loggerheads.

Vijay Rupani is extremely close to Amit Shah and it has worked in his favour.

Anandiben Patel who put up a spirited fight on behalf of Nitin Patel in the BJP MLAs meet was finally asked to tell Nitin Patel to accept the post of deputy chief minister.

Post the announcement, the BJP leadership congratulated Rupani and wished him the very best.

first published:August 05, 2016, 18:06 IST
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