AHMEDABAD: Vijay Rupani will remain as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and Nitin Patel will remain as the Deputy CM of the state. The decision was made at the meeting of elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs on Friday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey, who had been appointed as observers by the central leadership, had flown in from Delhi to Gandhinagar for the meeting.
State BJP in-charge Bhupender Yadav and co-incharge V Satish were also present for the meeting at party headquarters 'Kamalam'.
"It has been unanimously decided in the meeting that Vijay Rupani will be the Legislature party leader and Nitin Bhai Patel will be the deputy Legislature party leader," Jaitley said while making the announcement.
Explaining how the final decision was made, Jaitley said that as Central Observers, they called upon elected MLAs to propose a name. "Bhupendra Singh proposed these two names for the leader and Deputy leader, it was supported by 5 other MLAs who came to the dais and supported them. This was then put to the house which they unanimously accepted. I also asked the members if anybody had any alternative proposal, and since there was none, the two were declared as unanimously elected," Jaitley said.
Celebration outside BJP Office in Gandhinagar after Vijay Rupani gets elected as the Gujarat Chief Minister again, Nitin Bhai Patel as Deputy CM pic.twitter.com/O7guy5WaaX
— ANI (@ANI) December 22, 2017
Though there were grievances against Rupani and Patel because the party could not even touch 100 in the recently concluded elections, Rupani was seen as an acceptable face in the party.
Even BJP president Amit Shah during the election campaign had said that the party was fighting the polls under Rupani and Patel.
The date of the swearing-in is yet to be decided but it is likely to take place on December 25 on the birthday of former prime minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
BJP retained power in Gujarat by winning 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, while the Congress claimed 77. Six seats went to others, including three Independents.