Vijay Rupani will take over as the new chief minister of Gujarat. Nitin Patel will be the deputy chief minister of Gujarat. The oath taking ceremony will take place on Sunday, 7 August, 2016.
Rupani’s appointment comes after former CM Anandiben Patel resigned from the post earlier this week citing her age, adding that she wanted younger leaders to takeover the reigns of the party prior to the 2017 state assembly elections.
Mr. Rupani, a Jain leader, is close to both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, whose influence is seen in today’s surprise decision. Nitin Patel was on Friday morning accepting felicitations and giving interviews on his plans as chief minister.
Like most BJP leaders, Rupani has had his roots in the RSS and the ABVP, the students’ wing of the BJP.
Prior to contesting the Rajkot West assembly seat that was vacated by Vajubhai Vala, who was appointed the Governor of Karnataka, Rupani’s political career was confined to Saurashtra region of the state.
Nitin Patel was holding the health portfolio and is the state government spokesperson.
The new CM pick comes after days of speculation over whether Amit Shah would take charge as the Chief Minister. The air however was cleared on Wednesday when senior leader Venkaiah Naidu categorically stated that Amit Shah would continue in his national role.
Anandiben Patel tendered her resignation to Governor OP Kohli on Wednesday evening, hours after it was accepted by the BJP’s parliamentary board. Patel had been at the receiving end of a string of high-pressure crises in Gujarat.
Anandiben Patel who put up a spirited fight on behalf of Nitin Patel in the BJP MLAs meet was finally asked to tell Nitin Patel to accept the post of deputy chief minister.