Despite being widely reported that Nitin Patel will be the successor of Anandiben Patel, BJP on Friday evening announced Vijay Rupani as the new CM of Gujarat.
In a surprise move by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative party, Nitin Rupani was announced as the new Chief Minister of Gujarat instead of Nitin Patel.
It was widely reported that Nitin Patel will be Anandiben Patel’s successor. However, on Friday evening, Nitin Gadkari announced that it is indeed Rupani who will be the new CM, while Nitin Patel will be the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Rupani was serving as the state BJP President, while Nitin Patel was much touted to be the likely successor of Anandiben. Rupani would be tasked with leading the party in the assembly polls due next year, overcoming the multiple challenges faced by it in the home state of prime minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier, Rupani had even ruled himself out of the race by saying he wanted to serve the party. “I have told the party leadership that I would like to work for the organisation,” Rupani said. Nitin Patel has been given the deputy CM’s post to do a minute balancing act by BJP to placate the angry Patels agitating for reservation.
The BJP Legislative meet in Gandhinagar on Friday was attended by BJP President Amit Shah, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and former Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel among others.
Anandiben had tendered her resignation on Monday citing her age. Patel said that she had sought to resign from her post two months prior to turning 75 to give “enough time to the new incumbent to prepare for important events like the upcoming ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’. The BJP, in power in Gujarat for long, has been facing grim challenges like Patel quota stir and Dalit unrest in the wake of widely condemned dalit flogging incident in Una apart from reversals in rural areas in civic polls, which together seem to have dented its image and support base,prompting Anandiben to quit.