Vijay Rupani to be new Gujarat CM
BJP president Amit Shah was in Gujarat to announce the name of the person who would succeed Anandiben Patel as the state’s next chief minister.
Rupani met the media Thursday evening after Shah held a meeting with him and other senior state leaders including Nitin Patel who, party sources in Gandhinagar said, had emerged as the front-runner, unless there was a last-minute surprise.
Patel, a veteran legislator and senior minister, was by Rupani’s side when he spoke to journalists. Asked later about his prospective elevation, he said: “The party’s central leadership will decide who will be the CM.”
Informed sources claimed he has begun accepting congratulatory messages and telling MLAs and BJP office-bearers he would function in a “spirit of consensus” and make himself accessible to them.
Secondly, the Patels, who form the BJP’s political spine and have been upset with the party over the crackdown on the Patidar (Patel) agitation for reservation, had to be “mollified”.
Shah arrived in Ahmedabad yesterday morning and promptly held a meeting with Rupani, Nitin Patel and the others. “Taking everybody’s inputs was necessary because the Gujarat BJP is faction-ridden and every MLA holds a strong opinion on everything,” said the source close to Shah.
He was welcomed at the airport with a slogan that the Gujarat BJP had coined for Modi: “Dekhi, dekho kaun aaya, Gujarat ka sher aaya (look, look who’s come, Gujarat’s lion has come).”
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