Bhupendra Patel takes oath as new Gujarat chief minister
BJP leader Bhupendra Patel took oath as the 17th chief minister of Gujarat on Monday afternoon, two days after Vijay Rupani stepped down from the post.
The party has said that the council of ministers will take oath during the next few days after their names are finalised.
Patel (59), was unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader on Sunday. He 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, including Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Goa CM Pramod Sawant, were among those present.
Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate Patel.
“I've known him for years & have seen his exemplary work, be it in the BJP Organisation or in civic administration and community service," the PM tweeted.
The governor had on Sunday invited Patel to take oath as chief minister.
"The new leader of BJP’s Legislature Party Bhupendrabhai Patel presented a proposal to form the government under his leadership. Accepting the proposal, he was invited to take oath as CM on September 13 at 2.20 pm," Devvrat tweeted.
Patel is an MLA from the Ghatlodia seat, which was previously held by Anandiben Patel, who is currently serving as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, with an additional charge of Madhya Pradesh.
A first-time MLA, Patel had won his seat by a margin of 117,000 votes in 2017, the largest margin in that poll defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel.
He has served as chairman of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and had also chaired the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). Patel has also served as municipal councillor in Ahmedabad.
At Sunday’s BJP meeting, the proposal to elect Patel as the legislative party leader was moved by Rupani, whose resignation as CM on Saturday, 15 months ahead of the Assembly polls, surprised many political observers.
Rupani, the fourth chief minister to demit office in BJP-ruled states during the coronavirus pandemic, was sworn in as chief minister – his second stint as CM - in December 2017 and completed five years in office on 7 August this year.
He currently represents Gujarat's Rajkot West as MLA.
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.