First-time MLA, engineer, Bhupendra Patel swears in as Gujarat CM
Bharatiya Janata Party's Bhupendra Patel on Monday took oath as the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat. Patel, a member of the influential Patidar community, was administered the oath by Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat at the Raj Bhavan. Patel took over as CM after the surprise resignation of his predecessor, Vijay Rupani, on Saturday. Notably, Gujarat is set to go to poll in December 2022.
Who is Bhupendra Patel?
Patel, 59, is an MLA representing the Ghatlodia seat. He had won from the constituency during the 2017 Gujarat elections by a margin of 117,000 votes, the largest margin in that poll. He had never been elected MLA before and has never held a ministerial position until his nomination as CM. He is a protege of former CM and UP Governor Anandiben Patel.
A civil engineer, Patel owns a real-estate business
Patel was born into a Gujarati Kadava Patidar family in Ahmedabad on July 15, 1962. In 1982, he received a diploma in civil engineering from the Government Polytechnic, Ahmedabad. Patel—who declared over Rs. 5 crore in assets in 2017—also has a real-estate business, Vihan Associates, which is mostly confined in Ahmedabad. His son and son-in-law are also involved in the construction business in Shilaj.
Patel has served as Ahmedabad Municipal Councilor earlier
Patel began his political career from Memnagar Nagarpalika in Ahmedabad in the 1990s. He served as the city civic body's President in 1999-2000 and 2004-06. He went on to serve as Ahmedabad Municipal Councilor and as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). His former colleagues reportedly describe him as "straightforward and accessible."
Patel will certainly enrich Gujarat's growth trajectory: PM Modi
Congratulating Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "I have known him for years and have seen his exemplary work, be it in the BJP Organisation or in civic administration and community service. He will certainly enrich Gujarat's growth trajectory."
Rupani worked tirelessly for all sections of society: Modi
Modi—who himself served as the Gujarat CM for over a decade—also appreciated outgoing CM Vijay Rupani. Modi wrote, "During his five years as CM, Vijay Rupani Ji has undertaken many people-friendly measures. He worked tirelessly for all sections of society. I am certain he will continue to contribute to public service in the times to come."
Patel had earlier thanked Anandiben, Modi, Nadda, Shah
Patel was announced as the next CM of Gujarat on Sunday after a meeting of the BJP legislature party. After the announcement, Patel expressed his gratitude toward Anandiben Patel, Modi, BJP national President JP Nadda, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Why was Rupani replaced?
Rupani resigned from the CM position Saturday without citing a reason, becoming the fourth CM to exit prematurely in a BJP-ruled state this year. It is surmised that Rupani's handling of COVID-19 led him to be forced out. Other reasons that backed Patel and did not favor Rupani were the former's connection to the Patidar community, which could be exploited in the 2022 polls.