REVEALED: This is why Vijay Rupani got edge over Nitin Patel for Gujarat CM post
The announcement of Vijay Rupani's name as the Gujarat Chief Minister came as a surprise since Nitin Patel was being presumed the final choice.
Ahmedabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday evening surprised everyone by announcing the name of Vijay Rupani as the 16th Chief Minister of Gujarat, with senior cabinet minister Nitin Patel as Deputy Chief Minister.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the BJP legislature party chaired by national party president Amit Shah with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and MP Saroj Pandey as observers from the central leadership.
The announcement of Rupani's name came as a surprise since Nitin Patel was being presumed the final choice and had even started giving veiled interviews to local Gujarati news channels.
By 4.45 pm, local newspaper offices had started receiving e-mail and fax with Nitin Patel's bio-data. Not only this, TV channels had even got Patel's wife on camera.
Indications of last-minute change came when the meeting, that was largely meant to formally announce the new name in front of all the legislators at 4 pm, got delayed by nearly two hours.
The suave soft-spoken Vijay Rupani, a Jain-Baniya, is presently the party's Gujarat unit president, while Health Minister and State Government spokesperson Nitin Patel is a grassroots rustic Patel leader.
If reports are to be believed, Rupani was backed by Amit Shah, while Nitin Patel was considered close to former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel.
Anandiben was adamant at choosing Nitin Patel as her successor. However, after long arguments, Anandiben was told that Nitin Patel is not on good terms with the Patidars and, hence, can dent the party's chance in the Gujarat 2017 Assembly Elections, reported India Today.
News agency IANS quoted party sources as saying that Anandiben charged Rupani and other party leaders with engineering the Patidar agitation that shook her government.
She added against Nitin Patel's long experience, Rupani was a first-time MLA and had no administrative experience.
Amid all this, BJP organising secretary V Satish once came out of the meeting and spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on phone. Gadkari also had a chat with party leaders in Delhi.
Modi then talked to Anandiben in this regard. Subsequently, she agreed on Rupani's name for the CM post.
Anandiben Patel had claimed she was putting in her papers to honour the unwritten code among BJP leaders to quit public posts at 75.