Home News Reports The new Gujarat CM and the challenges that await him

The new Gujarat CM and the challenges that await him

On 1st August 2016, the then Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel announced her resignation on Facebook, citing that in November she will turn 75 years old and as per BJP policy, no leader can hold any constitutional or party post once they cross the age of 75. While this was put as official reason, inefficient handling of the Patidar agitation & Dalits’ protests by Anandiben was also said to be one of the major reasons for her ouster.

With this, the hunt and race for the next Chief Minister of Gujarat started. State BJP Gujarat Chief Vijay Rupani, senior most Minister Nitin Patel, Purshottam Rupala (Rajya Sabha MP who was recently made a union minister in Narendra Modi), Tribal leader and current Gujarat Vidhan Sabha speaker Ganpat Sinh Vasava, and prominent Dalit leader Raman lal Vora were all in the fray. Apart from these, there were rumors of Amit Shah becoming the next CM of Gujarat.

The Parliamentary Board of BJP authorized Amit Shah to take the decision and Venkaiah Naidu made it clear that Amit Shah will be not be sent to Gujarat as he was very much needed at the national level for bigger battles. The board further decided to send Nitin Gadkari and Saroj Pandey as observers. Amit Shah also arrived in Ahmedabad to steer the decision-making process.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Shah held multiple round of discussion with all senior leaders at his Sarkhej Highway residence on 3rd August and post the meetings, Nitin Patel looked jubilant and Rupani claimed he was out of race. From that moment onward, everyone including the media assumed that Nitin Patel was going to be the next Gujarat CM and only formal announcement was needed on 5th August. Nitin Patel even started giving interviews to various TV channels and shared his vision to tackle Patidar agitation as Gujarat CM.

On 5th August, all MLAs were asked to arrive at Kamlam, Gandhinagar at 4.00 PM to decide on the next Gujarat CM but the meeting started only at 5.30 PM, which sources say is because of intense arguments between Anandiben Patel, who was pushing for Nitin Patel’s candidature, and Amit Shah, who wanted Vijay Rupani as next CM.

Vijay Rupani was an ideal candidate for Amit Shah and PM Modi as he is non-controversial, a staunch RSS man, a grassroots leader connected with party workers, and additionally, not a powerful mass leader who could later rebel against Modi and Shah in Gujarat.

On the other hand, there was no incentive of making Nitin Patel as CM as he was not able to control Patidar agitation. During peak of the agitation, Patidars even attacked and burnt his home in Mehsana. Nitin Patel is himself a Patidar, but he is not a popular figure in the community. On top of that, he is reported to be belonging to the Anandiben Patel camp, which doesn’t see eye to eye with Amit Shah’s camp.

With final word coming from PM Modi himself, Anandiben Patel had to back off from her demand and Vijay Rupani’s name was finalized. To pacify Anandiben Patel, Nitin Patel was declared as Deputy CM. Official declaration was made by Nitin Gadkari in the ensuing press conference and entire episode came to an end with sudden twist in the tail.

This entire episode once again reiterated that Amit Shah was the real boss of BJP Gujarat. This was rude shock for the media as well as their sources as everyone had started claiming that Nitin Patel was the next Gujarat CM.

Vijay Rupani

Vijay Rupani was born in a Jain family in Rangoon, Burma in 1956 and soon his family shifted to Rajkot, Gujarat in 1960. He first joined ABVP and later RSS at very young age of 15 years. He is the only state cabinet minister in the current regime who was jailed during the emergency. In 1987 he entered into electoral politics and become a councilor from Rajkot and later he served as Mayor from 1996 to 1997. He was also made Rajya Sabha MP from 2006 to 2012. In 2014, veteran leader Vajubhai Vala was made Karnataka Governor and Rupani contested his vacant seat from Rajkot and won with a very handsome margin.

Earlier this year in February, he was made Gujarat BJP Chief to steer BJP during the ongoing Patidar agitation and to make sure BJP remains in power in their bastion Gujarat. He is perceived to be very close to leaders like Keshubhai Patel, Narendra Modi, and most importantly National BJP President Amit Shah who tilted the balance in his favor.

Vijay Rupani lost his son 15 years ago in a tragedy in Ahmedabad and post that Rupani formed a trust in his son’s memory, which serves poor kids with education and other basic amenities. Rupani’s daughter stays in London and her younger son is studying in Nirma University in Ahmedabad.

Challenges ahead

Patidars have already started opposing Rupani’s elevation as CM and there have been mass protests in Patidar dominated areas in cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Mehsana, and Rajkot. Parties like AAP and Congress are trying to catch on this sentiments to get their slice of Patidar vote bank.

On the other hand Dandi Yatra is planned by Dalits from Ahmedabad to Dandi to protest the Una incident. Impact of the Dalit agitation is seen as more severe than Patidar agitation and can severely impact BJP’s fortune in Gujarat.

BJP’s clear stand on Patidar reservation has ensured that Gujarat’s second most influential community Koli Patels and other OBCs remain with BJP. On top of that, BJP still enjoys unprecedented support among the urban class in Gujarat.

Rupani has a tough challenge on his hand to ensure Patidar and Dalit agitations are controlled as soon as possible, and to make sure that BJP retains its bastion for the record 5th Time in a battle, which will be a very close fight unlike earlier elections.

Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Don't Miss This: EVM Lies & The Truth

Opindia's dedicated collection of all the EVM hacking allegations, lies and truth

IIT graduate and an IAS officer explains in detail why EVMs can’t be ‘hacked’ or ‘tampered’ with

Bhavesh Mishra, IAS 2015 batch, B.Tech IIT Delhi, on Quora gave a detailed explanation regarding why EVMs cannot be 'hacked' or 'tampered' with.

‘Journalist sitting in a political party’s lap is calling others godi media’, Aaj Tak’s Rohit Sardana hits out at NDTV’s Ravish Kumar

Aaj Tak journalist Rohit Sardana said that earlier journalists used to decide ministry allocations.

Barkha Dutt expresses deep anguish over the fact that the mainstream media can no longer influence elections

Barkha said it doesn't make her happy that mainstream media cannot influence the voters to vote in a particular way anymore.

Meet Ashok Lavasa: A man surrounded by many controversies, going back to the CWG scam

Election commissioner Ashok Lavasa had kicked up a storm earlier after he alleged that he did not agree with the ECI decisions to clear PM Modi and Amit Shah of charges of violating the MCC

Here is what may have triggered Rajdeep Sardesai’s own colleague slamming him for being a pliant journalist

Anjana Om Kashyap, one of the Editors of Aaj Tak who conducted that interview interestingly took to Twitter today to castigate what appears to be her colleague, Rajdeep Sardesai.
Ravish Kumar has a mental breakdown as BJP set to form a government at centre, according to exit polls

NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar has a prolonged meltdown on his show after the Exit Polls predicted a landslide BJP victory

Most of the Exit Polls suggested that BJP may be well placed to form another government at the centre

Read this before you believe the ABP-Nielsen Exit Poll that gave NDA only 277 while others gave a thumping majority

While all other polls were giving a thumping majority to BJP and NDA, Nielsen chose to "customise" their survey and simply delete voter responses were overwhelmingly in favour of BJP.

The curious case of ‘Tricolour News Network’ and their Romanian owner Diana Biciin

It is curious that Aam Aadmi Party social media cell member shared a video of a dubious platform which was earlier used by Congress' Kapil Sibal
Shehla Rashid calls upon United Nations to resolve the EVM allegations

‘Why don’t we invoke the UN?’ Shehla Rashid takes EVM row to a new level as exit polls predict Modi’s victory

Shehla Rashid bemoaned about the lack of clarity and purpose among the opposition parties while levelling serious allegations of EVM fraud and rigging
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories

Latest articles

Connect with us

164,174FansLike
140,880FollowersFollow
64,165SubscribersSubscribe
Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans: