Parshottam Rupala, 62, belongs to the Kadva faction of the Patidar community and is believed to be an Amit Shah loyalist who was elected to the Rajya Sabha only last month. Since then his inclusion in the cabinet was a certainty. Belonging to the Kadva faction of the Patidar community, Rupala was part of Modi’s campaign team in Varanasi during 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Rupala is considered a powerful Patidar leader who can infuse a sense of confidence into BJP workers at the state level. The Patidar agitation and the embarrassing protests against BJP leaders across the state during many public functions have hit the morale of party workers.
- Police form human chain to avoid PAAS protests at Rupala’s Surat meetings
- Gujarat elections: BJP leaders engage in 'chai pe charcha' with people during PM Modi's 'Mann ki Baat'
- Gujarat Assembly elections 2017: 5 leaders who carry Congress hopes
- Modi cabinet reshuffle: These are your new ministers
- Modi cabinet expansion: The Patidar factor in new faces from Gujarat
- Cabinet reshuffle: 19 new MoS, Javadekar gets elevated, 5 ministers sacked
Recently, during the BJP state executive meeting in Mehsana – the epicentre of Patidar quota stir – Rupala was heard asking the party workers and leaders to work with confidence for the party without fear of the Patidar protests. He had said that if the party could hold its two-day executive in ‘Mehsana’, the workers could easily work in other parts of the state.
Rupala – from Amreli district of Saurashtra region – could also be seen as a replacement Kadva Patidar from Gujarat following exclusion of Kundariya, a Kadva Patidar from Rajkot. It is believed that Kundariya has been dropped from the cabinet since he failed to contain the Patidar quota stir in Morbi, part of Rajkot constituency which saw the angriest of protests.