Vijay Rupani is new Gujarat CM, Nitin Patel his deputyhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/vijay-rupani-is-new-gujarat-cm-nitin-patel-his-deputy-2956076/

Vijay Rupani is new Gujarat CM, Nitin Patel his deputy

Rupani, a Jain Baniya, emerged as the choice for the top job at a meeting of BJP MLAs, attended by party president Amit Shah and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

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New elected Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitin Patel flash victory signs after a meeting at Gujarat BJP headquarters ‘Kamlam’ at Gandhinagar on Friday. PTI Photo

The BJP Friday named its state unit president and minister Vijay Rupani as the new Chief Minister of Gujarat, replacing Anandiben Patel who resigned earlier this week. He was chosen ahead of front-runner Nitin Patel who will be the Deputy Chief Minister. Rupani, a Jain Baniya, emerged as the choice for the top job at a meeting of BJP MLAs, attended by party president Amit Shah and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. After the meeting, Gadkari announced that Rupani would be the new Chief Minister.

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He will now lead the party in the assembly elections due next year. The Patidar quota agitation and the Dalit unrest following the Una flogging incident have multiplied BJP problems in Gujarat. The BJP legislature party meeting, which was to start at 4 pm began two hours late, apparently due to parleys involving top leaders.

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Earlier in the day, Nitin Patel’s office had claimed that his name has been finalised by the BJP to fill the position that fell vacant by Anandiben’s resignation. Patel had given a series of interviews to TV channels listing how he intends to take the state forward when it is facing the challenges like the Patel quota agitation and the Dalit unrest. Even sweets were distributed at his residence and a pooja was also organised.

READ | Vijay Rupani to be Gujarat Chief Minister, Nitin Patel his Deputy

Anandiben Patel announced her decision to resign through a Facebook post, saying it is time “the younger generation gets an opportunity to work”. Since Thursday, Shah had been holding talks with party leaders to finalise the CM candidate after the party parliamentary board accepted Anandiben Patel’s offer to resign.

Over the last two days, the Patel lobby had been working overtime, pushing the theory that without a Patel CM, “restless Patels would desert the BJP”. Patel leaders who visited Shah Thursday argued that there was no non-Patel face which would be acceptable to Patels as the CM.

But non-Patel leaders have been pointing out that the Patel agitation has divided society along caste lines in North Gujarat and Saurashtra.