In a move that surprised many, Gujarat BJP chief Vijay Rupani has been named as the new Chief Minister of the state, after a meeting of the BJP legislators at State Party headquarter Shree Kamalam in Ahmedabad on Friday evening. Health Minister Nitin Patel has been named as the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat.
The meeting was held in the presence of national BJP president Amit Shah and central observers Nitin Gadkari and Saroj Pandey. Besides these, national vice-president Parshottam Rupala, State in-charge Dinesh Sharma and national organising Secretary V Satish were also present.
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.
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 Aanandiben to quit.
People on Twitter reacted on this move that has come as a surprise to many:
Vijay Rupani announcement as Guj CM confirms @AmitShah is clearly Big Boss of Gujarat. Will he go back to Gandhinagar after UP 2017?
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 5, 2016
Vijay Rupani’s closeness to @AmitShah and less experience in governance, has many believing Shah will remote-control Guj Govt from Delhi
— Poulomi Saha (@PoulomiMSaha) August 5, 2016
New elected CM VIjay Rupani is junior most cabinet minister in outgoing CM Anandiben Patel cabinet. New Deputy CM Nitin Patel is senior most
— DeshGujarat (@DeshGujarat) August 5, 2016
Congrats @vijayrupanibjp 4 becoming new CM of Gujarat.Warmly remember long conversations with U that provided rare insights 4my book on NaMo
— Madhu Kishwar (@madhukishwar) August 5, 2016
Vijay Rupani is the next Gujarat Chief Minister, RSS again played a key role in deciding something for BJP
— Cifar (@cifarshayar) August 5, 2016
Vijay Rupani becomes first CM from Minority Community in Gujarat.
— Dhaval Patel (@dhaval241086) August 5, 2016
— Invincible (@i_me_my5elf) August 5, 2016
Heartiest Congratulations to @vijayrupanibjp Ji ! We hope that under your able leadership Gujarat will only become better!
— Manoj Sharma (@manojsharma3339) August 5, 2016
— #BJP4Naroda assembly (@272BJP) August 5, 2016
— zahid patka (@zahidpatka) August 5, 2016
— Tejas Shah (@_TejasShah) August 5, 2016
— Zafar Abbas (@zafarabbaszaidi) August 5, 2016
— BJP Himachal Pradesh (@BJP4Himachal) August 5, 2016
Congratulations to CM Vijay Rupani…. Hope he does well in next 18 months to make sure win in 2017 election
— Ketan Gadhvi (@Ketu_kool) August 5, 2016
— Raj Patel (@rajpatel63) August 5, 2016
— Amol Kulkarni (@kulkarniamold) August 5, 2016
Anandiben Patel announced her decision to resign through a Facebook post last week, saying she thought it fit to step down since as she will turn 75 this November, the age cap set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the central and the state ministries. On Wednesday, former chief minister Anandiben Patel submitted her resignation to Governor O P Kohli after BJP leaders decided to accept her offer to quit the post.