Gujarat BJP leader Bhupendra Patel will take oath as the Chief Minister after the party’s record victory in assembly elections last week. Around 25 ministers of his cabinet will also be sworn in as Mr Patel begins his second term in the top post.
Here are five facts on Bhupendra Patel:
Surprise Move: Mr Patel replaced Vijay Rupani as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in a surprise move in September last year. He was believed to be the choice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Patidar Factor: Electoral arithmetic had a key role in Mr Rupani’s replacement by Mr Patel. The Patidars, one of the most politically crucial groups in Gujarat, have been upset with the BJP and demanding a Chief Minister from their community. This time, the BJP performed extremely well in Patidar-dominated seats in the state.
Massive Victory: The BJP’s election arithmetic led to a record victory under the leadership of Mr Patel. While the party won 156 out of the total 182 seats, Mr Patel himself won by a margin of 1.92 lakh votes from his Ghatlodia seat in Ahmedabad. “I had said while campaigning that this time Bhupendra will break Narendra’s record (of 127 seats in 2002),” PM Modi said after the Gujarat election results were declared.
RSS Link: Mr Patel has been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the BJP. He was also said to be an aide of Uttar Pradesh Governor and former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
Low profile: Mr Patel, who usually keeps a very low profile, was the part of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority. He is known to be a trouble-shooter and strategy-builder in the BJP.
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