Vijay Rupani has been appointed as the new chief minister of Gujarat by Bharatiya Janata Party. He has been chosen as Anandiben Patel’s successor, who resigned from her post citing her age and upcoming state assembly elections. Nitin Patel, who was being cited as another frontrunner, has been appointed as the deputy chief minister of the state.
Rupani is an MLA from Rajkot West constituency and has also served as BJP’s Gujarat unit general secretary and chairman of the Gujarat Finance Board during Narendra Modi’s reign.
Throughout his political career he remained confined to Saurashtra region. He played an influential role during the Patidar reservation stir for BJP by making peace when the party was at the verge of losing support of the Patel community.
Rupani, who hails from an influential Jain family, has always been a close associate to former BJP chief ministers of Gujarat. Be it Keshubhai Patel, Narendra Modi or Anandiben Patel, Rupani always shared a close knit bond with them.
There was stiff competition among four candidates for chief minister’s post Saurabh Patel—a relative of Ambani family, Vijaykumar Ramniklal Rupani—an RSS affiliate and close associate of Modi, Nitin Patel—who was being touted as the strongest contender for chief minister’s post and Bhikubhai Dalsania—who gave tough competition to Anandiben Patel after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India.
Rupani is also said to be a close acquaintance of Amit Shah and he is the only minister in the present cabinet who was jailed during the emergency.
Anandiben Patel had to make an abrupt exist as she announced her resignation through a Facebook post. She was facing a lot of criticism from her own party after the recent Dalit agitation in Gujarat. She was also blamed for BJP’s defeat in civic polls in rural areas.