Bhupendrabhai Patel (Gujarati: ભુપેન્દ્રભાઇ પટેલ) is an Indian politician, a member of the Bharatiya Janta Party and Current Chief Minister of Gujarat. He replaced Vijay Rupani as Chief Minister of Gujarat on 12 September, 2021. He became the MLA for the Ghatlodiya constituency after winning the 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections, running against Shashikant Patel of the Indian National Congress. He won by a record margin of 117,000 voters, the largest for any constituency in Gujarat for the BJP in this election.
He was unanimously named the Chief Minister designate of Gujarat on 12 September, 2021 in the party legislature meeting.
Patel’s name was approved at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature party meeting held in Gandhinagar today. Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Pralhad Joshi were the central observers at the legislature party meeting.
Bhupendra Patel was on September 12 appointed as new chief minister of Gujarat, replacing Vijay Rupani who resigned a day before.
Patel, 59, is a member of the legislative assembly from Ghatlodiya seat which was earlier held by former chief minister Anandiben Patel.
Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar made the announcement after Patel’s name was approved at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature party meeting held in Gandhinagar today. Tomar and union minister Pralhad Joshi were the central observers at the legislature party meeting. Outgoing chief minister Rupani proposed his name, Tomar said.
The new chief minister, along with the council of ministers, is likely to be sworn in on September 13. Gujarat is slated to hold assembly elections by December 2022.
First-time MLA, Patel won from the Ghatlodiya constituency after winning the 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections, running against Shashikant Patel of the Congress. He won by a record margin of 117,000 voters, the largest for any constituency in Gujarat for the BJP in this election.
An engineer by profession, Patel is considered close to former chief minister Anandiben Patel who was replaced by Vijay Rupani in 2016. He is the former chairman of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority and has also been chairman of AMC standing committee.
Patel, a surprise pick, is Delhi leadership’s choice, according to the sources. He is a Patidar, a community that is going to play a significant role in next year’s assembly polls. Patel’s proximity with Gujarat business fraternity also worked in his favour, sources said.
In the 2017 polls, Rupani, after having survived the incumbency factor and a violent quota stir by the Patidars, returned as CM with BJP winning 99 seats in the 182-member assembly. The Congress managed 77 seats in what many saw as a stiff fight.
Patidars are a dominant caste in Gujarat having a sizeable control over the economy with its hold over the cooperative sector, real estate, education and construction, among other sectors.
Patidars are said to form the backbone of the BJP in Gujarat. The party’s first chief minister in 1995 when it came to power for the first time was Keshubhai Patel, a Patidar leader from Saurashtra region.