First-time MLA Bhupendra Patel is new Chief Minister of Gujarat

The new CM is from the Patidar community and a first-time MLA from Ghatlodiya seat, earlier held by Anandiben Patel.

The decision on Bhupendra Patel was taken at the party’s legislature party meeting in Gandhinagar on Sunday afternoon.

The BJP in a surprise move announced Ghatlodiya MLA Bhupendra Patel as the new chief minister of Gujarat on Sunday, a day after Vijay Rupani resigned from the post along with his entire cabinet. The decision was taken unanimously at the party’s legislature party meeting in Gandhinagar in the afternoon.

Patel, 59, is a first-time MLA who has held the positions of president of Memnagar municipality in Ahmedabad, standing committee chairman of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority.

A member of the Patidar community, Patel’s name was proposed by Vijay Rupani. Most of the 112 MLAs of the BJP in the 182-member Assembly were present at the meeting, BJP sources were quoted as saying by PTI.

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Patel won the 2017 Gujarat elections from Ghatlodiya constituency, defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel by more than 1 lakh votes, the highest winning margin in the elections. He holds a diploma in civil engineering and is known to be a confidant of Anandiben Patel, former state CM.

The new CM will meet the governor and stake claim to form the government.

According to the PTI report, Bhupendra Patel’s name was not in the list of probable candidates for the post, and the BJP once again took political pundits and rivals by surprise with its choice.

The party also appointed Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Narendra Singh Tomar as observers.

Guajarat deputy CM Nitin Patel had told reporters in Gandhinagar that the new man at the helm in the state “will have to be popular, strong, experienced, and one who is known and acceptable to all”.

Also read: Inside story: Why Rupani had to resign as Gujarat CM, and who comes next

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