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Vijay Rupani is next Gujarat Chief Minisster, Nitin Patel to be Deputy CM

India TV Politics Desk Ahmedabad 05 Aug 2016, 18:38:01 PM IST
India TV Politics Desk

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership has decided to appoint Vijay Rupani as the next chief minister of Gujarat. He succeeds Anandiben Patel who took over charge of the post from Narendra Modi. 

Health Minister Nitin Patel, who was also in the chief ministerial race, will now be appointed to the post of Deputy chief minister. 

The formal announcement in this regard was made today evening after the meeting of the legislators in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah and central observers Nitin Gadkari and Saroj Pandey. The meeting was held at the BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar.

The swearing-in is likely to take place on August 7.

Vijay Rupani is the state president of the BJP and was the minister for transport, water supply, labor and employment in Anandiben's cabinet. He was elected an MLA for the first time in 2014, winning the Rajkot West seat vacated by Vajubhai Vala, who went on to become Karnataka Goveror. 

Like most BJP leaders, Rupani has had his roots in the RSS and the ABVP, the students' wing of the BJP.

Rupani was considered the most non-controversial prospect as her successor, and enjoys wide acceptance among party cadre.He was a councillor and subsequently the mayor of the Rajkot civic body, and also a Member of Parliament from Rajkot.

Over the past year-and-a-half, Rupani gained a political stature within the BJP and emerged as a front runner for the post of CM. During the Patidar reservation stir, he was seen as the leader with the healing touch, often making the peacemaking moves even as disgruntled Patels threatened to desert the BJP.

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.

Gujarat has been rocked by protests by Dalit communities, who are angry over the thrashing of four scheduled caste men by alleged cow-protection vigilantes last month