Newly appointed Gujarat BJP president and Navsari Lok Sabha MP CR Patil said he would work to further strengthen the party in the state and expressed confidence about winning bypolls to eight Assembly seats to be held soon.
Patil, a third-term MP from Navsari in Gujarat, replaces Jitu Vaghani. The 65-year-old leader is considered an effective parliamentarian, who has used technology to push development works in his constituency and be in touch with the voters.
Patil has also been Prime Minister Narendra Modi's choice to coordinate development works in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
While Patil was born in Jalgaon in neighbouring Maharashtra, Vaghani is a Patel. "I am a living example of the importance and trust given to a worker in the BJP. The party is very strong. We will further strengthen it so that it remains in power for longer and serve people," said Patil.
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president JP Nadda and the state leadership. He said the coronavirus outbreak was the main challenge at the moment.
"The strength with which the government and party is working, the number of (coronavirus) cases is in control both in the state and the country. I am sure we shall be able to control it further in the coming days," he said.
Patil said he was confident the BJP would win all eight bypolls in the state, dates of which are yet to be announced, necessitated due to Congress MLAs resigning.
"The manner in which work started under the leadership of (outgoing president) Jitu Vaghani is result-oriented, and we will get positive results," he said.
Outgoing president Vaghani tweeted, "Congratulations to Shri CR Patil on being appointed as the new president of the BJP. Best wishes for Gujarat BJP to move forward under your leadership."
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, in a statement, said Patil has played a role in the party for many years, from being a BJP worker to Member of Parliament, where he set a new record of being elected with the highest voting margin.
Rupani offered heartfelt congratulations to Patil and welcomed the appointment made by party national president JP Nadda, as per a press statement released by his office.
"Patil has played a role for many years, from being a BJP worker to an MP. He has set a new record of being elected with the highest voting margin. Under Patil's leadership, the Gujarat Pradesh BJP will definitely develop and expand as an organisation," Rupani said.
He said the BJP, under his leadership, will win all upcoming polls in Gujarat. In 2019, Patil was, for the third consecutive term, elected as Member of Parliament from Navsari in south Gujarat.
He had won the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with the highest margin of 6,89,668 votes. He has been chairman of housing of Parliament and Airport Advisory Committee of Surat, as well as the Member of the Committee on Urban Development of Parliament.
At a local level, he is Vice-Chairman of the Valsad Telecom District and Monitoring and Advisory Committee of District Rural Development Agency, Surat.
He also served as the chairman of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) between 1995-97.