Gandhinagar: First-term MLA Bhupendra Patel was on Monday sworn in as Gujarat chief minister, two days after Vijay Rupani’s surprise exit from the post, a year ahead of the Assembly polls.
Patel (59), unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader on Sunday, was sworn in as the state’s 17th chief minister by Governor Acharya Devvrat at a simple ceremony here.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and chief ministers of some BJP-ruled states were among those present at the Raj Bhavan ceremony.
As decided by the party, only Patel took the oath. The council of ministers will take oath during the next few days after their names are finalised, BJP sources said.
The governor had on Sunday invited Patel to take oath as chief minister. “The new leader of BJP’s Legislature Party Bhupendrabhai Patel presented a proposal to form the government under his leadership. Accepting the proposal, he was invited to take oath as CM on September 13 at 2.20 pm,” Devvrat tweeted.
At Sunday’s legislature party meeting, the proposal to elect Patel the legislative party leader was moved by Vijay Rupani, whose resignation as CM on Saturday, 15 months ahead of the Assembly polls, surprised political observers.
Rupani, the fourth chief minister to demit office in BJP-ruled states during the coronavirus pandemic, was sworn in as chief minister–his second stint as CM – in December 2017 and completed five years in office on August 7 this year.
With state Assembly polls scheduled in December 2022, the BJP is banking on Patel, a Patidar, for poll victory. In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP won 99 of the 182 seats and Congress got 77.
Born in Ahmedabad, Patel is an MLA from the Ghatlodia seat, previously held by former chief minister and now Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel.
Patel, who holds a diploma in civil engineering, has served as Ahmedabad municipal councillor.
Patel has never held a ministerial post, just like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was never a minister when he became Gujarat CM 20 years ago.