On September 13, BJP leader Bhupendra Patel took the oath as Chief Minister of Gujarat at 2 PM. Preceded by former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Patel’s name had surprised everyone as none of the media reports had included his name as an option for the CM position’s race after Rupani’s resignation on September 11.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had reached Ahmedabad to participate in the swearing in ceremony of Patel. Patel’s Ghatlodiya constituency falls under the Gandhinagar constituency in the Lok Sabha which is represented by Shah. Swearing in of other ministers will take place later.
The political career of Bhupendra Patel
59-years-old Patel is an engineer by education. His political career started as a member of Memnagar Nagarpalika in 1995. He was elected as the president of the Memnagar Nagarpalika between 1999-2000. He had served as AUDA (Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority) Chairman and chairman of the Standing Committee of Amdavad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
Patel was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Ghatlodiya assembly constituency in Gujarat. He had won the elections by a margin of over 1,17,000 votes against Shashikant Patel from the Congress party. The seat was previously held by UP Governor and former Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel.
Resignation of Vijay Rupani
On September 11, the former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, submitted his resignation from the post. “I have resigned from the post of Gujarat Chief Minister,” Vijay Rupani told the media after meeting Governor Acharya Devvrat. “I have conveyed my wishes to work in party organization under the leadership of Prime Minister and under the guidance of BJP chief,” he had said.
The reason for his resignation is not clear, but there are speculations that he could have resigned due to health issues. Some believe the resignation was necessitated by the fact that Vijay Rupani has been unwell for the past few months, making it unfeasible for him to continue as Chief Minister for another term. Thus, BJP wishes to contest the elections with a face that is familiar with the citizens of the state by the time the elections arrive, i.e. December next year. Rupani was appointed to the position on August 7, 2016, and steered the state through the Coronavirus pandemic.