Meet Bhupendra 'Patidar' Patel, set to return as Gujarat CM
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel is set to take over the office for the second consecutive term after Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) landslide victory in the state Assembly elections. A member of the influential Patidar community, Patel will be sworn in on Monday as Gujarat's 18th CM. Last year, he took charge after the sudden resignation of his predecessor, Vijay Rupani. Here's more.
Why does this story matter?
- With the victory, the BJP set a record for gaining the most Assembly seats in Gujarat.
- It has surpassed the 1985 mark of 149 seats won by Congress.
- In addition to this, Patel has also surpassed a significant record held by Narendra Modi.
- Twenty years after winning the most seats in Gujarat—127—under Modi's leadership in 2002, Patel has handed the saffron party more seats.
Civil engineer and real-estate businessman
Born on July 15, 1962, in Ahmedabad, Patel belongs to a Gujarati Kadava Patidar family. 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 to Ahmedabad. His son and son-in-law are also involved in the construction business in Shilaj.
A confidant of former CM Anandiben Patel
Patel, 60, became an MLA from the Ghatlodia seat during the 2017 Gujarat elections. He had won from the constituency by a margin of 117,000 votes-the largest margin in that poll. It was his first stint as MLA and he had never held a ministerial position until his nomination as CM. Notably, Patel is a confidant of former CM and UP Governor Anandiben Patel.
Served as councilor in Ahmedabad municipal body
Patel began his political career in Memnagar Nagarpalika in Ahmedabad in the 1990s. He served as the city's 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."
Left imprints despite dubbed as 'remote-controlled CM'
During his first term as CM, there were allegations and speculations that Patel would be a "remote-controlled" CM. However, the BJP high-command's confidence and thumping win for the party in the state put all critiques to rest. Earlier, Rupani faced similar issues and was asked to step down after he allegedly mishandled PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah's home state.