BJP surprised us as it chose Vijay Rupani as CM of Gujrat. A Amit Shah loyalist, will be succeed Anandiben Patel. Nitin Patel, seen as the front-runner for the top slot after Anandiben offered to resign, was made deputy chief minister. It is for the first time that Gujarat will have a deputy chief minister.
The announcement was made by Union minister Nitin Gadkari. Shah, Gadkari, Pandey, Anandiben, Nitin Patel, Vijay Rupani and BJP joint general secretary (organisation) V Satish were present in the meeting, besides some other leaders.
Rupani, who belongs to Jain Baniya community, is considered to be close to Amit Shah while Patel is said to be close to Anandiben.
Rupani, who represents Rajkot West seat, joined Jan Sangh in 1971 and has been associated with BJP since its formation.
In the last two years, the BJP was also at loggerheads with its loyal vote bank of Patidars who have been demanding OBC quota and launched violent protests.
Of late, flogging of Dalits at Una also caused a massive unrest, further denting the party’s image.
Meanwhile, Patidar leaders, who had rallied behind Mr. Patel, are apparently upset with the BJP high command’s decision to drop Mr. Patel at the last moment. “Nitin Patel should immediately resign from the party,” Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel said.