Gujarat CM: Bhupendra Patel's swearing-in today; Amit Shah to attend
Bhupendra Patel on Monday took oath as the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat. Patel will take office after the surprise exit of his predecessor, Vijay Rupani. Rupani resigned from the post on Saturday, just 15 months ahead of the 2022 Gujarat Assembly elections. On Sunday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party announced Patel as the new leader of the legislature party. Here are more details.
Patel to take oath at 2:20 pm
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat has invited Patel to take oath as the Gujarat CM at 2:20 pm Monday. Reportedly, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also attend the oath-taking ceremony. Earlier on Sunday, Patel had met Devvrat at the Raj Bhavan to stake a claim to the CM post. The BJP has said that the new Gujarat Cabinet will be decided later.
Rupani described Patel as 'capable'
Patel, 59, was picked as the new leader of the legislature party at the BJP's core committee meeting that concluded at Kamalam Sunday. Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar then announced that Patel will be sworn in as the new Gujarat CM soon. Rupani described Patel as "capable" and expressed confidence in the BJP's poll victory in 2022 under his leadership.
Patel belongs to dominant Patidar community
Notably, Patel belongs to the Patidar community that has a sizable influence over electoral votes. The dominant community also influences the political economy with power over education, realty, and cooperative sectors.
Who is Bhupendra Patel?
During the 2017 Gujarat elections, Patel had won the Ghatlodia seat by a margin of 117,000 votes, the largest margin in that poll. Patel, a protege of former CM and UP Governor Anandiben Patel, has served as a municipal councilor in Ahmedabad. He has also been the chairperson of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority. Interestingly, Patel has never held a ministerial post.
Why did Vijay Rupani resign?
Vijay Rupani had resigned from the CM post on Saturday without citing any reason for the sudden move. He had, however, thanked the BJP for allowing him to serve the people of Gujarat. Political observers surmise Rupani quit after the state administration's mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis. However, others claim the exit could be a result of caste equations.