Bhupendra Patel takes oath as new CM of Gujarat

Gandhinagar: First-term MLA Bhupendra Patel was sworn in Gujarat chief minister, two days after Vijay Rupani’s surprise exit from the post, a year ahead of the Assembly polls.

Patel (59), unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader, was sworn in as the state’s 17th chief minister by Governor Acharya Devvrat at a simple ceremony in Gandhinagar.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and chief ministers of some BJP-ruled states were among those present at the Raj Bhavan ceremony. As decided by the party, only Patel took the oath. The council of ministers will take oath during the next few days after their names are finalized, BJP sources said.

While Patel was elected the leader of the legislature party after a meeting, it is believed that he was the choice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah.

Rupani, who was present on the occasion, endorsed the new chief minister, saying the party will “successfully contest the polls” under his leadership. Election in Gujarat is due next year.

Patel, the MLA from Ghatlodia seat, held earlier by Anandiben Patel, appeared a surprise candidate for the post.

With state Assembly polls scheduled in December 2022, the BJP is banking on Patel, a Patidar, for poll victory. In the 2017 Assembly elections, BJP won 99 of the 182 seats and Congress got 77.

The Patidars are a dominant caste in Gujarat with a sizeable control over the electoral votes and dominate the political economy with a stronghold over education, realty, and cooperative sectors.

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