Ghatlodia MLA Bhupendra Patel will be Gujarat’s new chief minister after Vijay Rupani’s resignation from the top post a year before the state goes to polls, the party decided after its legislature party meeting. Bhupendra was earlier the chairman of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). Bhupendra has never held a Ministerial post, just like Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he became Gujarat CM, twenty years ago.
The BJP’s Legislature party meeting held today was to elect a new chief ministerial face, attended by Central Observers Union Ministers Narendra Tomar and Prahlad Joshi. Bhupendra will now visit the Governor’s Residence at 5:30 PM to stake his claim for the top post.
Rupani had turned 65 last month and according to sources are to be believed, the party was not so confident of facing the next elections in Gujarat under his leadership. Rupani in his resignation speech spoke of “Nayi Urja and Naya Utsaah” as the reason for choosing a new Chief Minister.
Sources had earlier told CNN-News18 that a Patel was likely to be the new CM for the state. The BJP under Rupani is also said to have been facing the heat over the management of the Covid situation and the party was sensing some anger in the urban areas. Incidentally, Rupani was also chosen as the CM in similar fashion 15 months before the 2017 assembly elections in the state, replacing Anandiben Patel.
Rupani’s resignation came 15 months before the election to the 182-member Assembly that is due in December 2022. Rupani (65), the fourth chief minister to demit office in BJP-ruled states during the coronavirus pandemic, was sworn in as chief minister in December 2017.
With inputs from News18