He was sitting in the corner of the fourth row in the BJP headquarters at Kamalam when his name was announced as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Suddenly clamour broke out with people shouting Dada, Dada,
Bhupendra Patel quietly got up and went up to the stage and gave less than a minute and a half speech. Once again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proved the entire media of Gujarat wrong in their speculations. In his typical style, Narendra Modi the Baazigar took out a completely unexpected rabbit from the hat. The first time MLA who entered the Assembly for the first time in 2017 is the new chief minister of Gujarat.
His phone was switched off. He had left home in the morning after a fafda jalebi breakfast telling his wife and son Anuj that he may come late because of the meeting in Gandhinagar. The family watched on television and had no clue about Bhupendra Patel being appointed the Chief Minister.
Does inexperience matter? Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister without contesting a single electoral fray in 2001. Now, the new Chief Minister of Gujarat, Bhupendra Patel is a notch higher experienced. Bhupendrabhai got elected for the first time as an MLA in 2017.
He is a candidate accepted by one and all of the BJP in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar and nobody outside Gujarat knows him. His inexperience, BJP sources said will be a great asset to the saffron party. Even outgoing Chief Minister Vijay RUpani is elated at the appointment of Bhupendra Patel, the sources added.
Before that Bhupendra Patel has been associated with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority(AUDA).
At Aryaman Residency in Shilaj, all the residents of the society came out surprised asking, “our Bhupendrabhai is the CM of Gujarat”.
Manilal, a vegetable vendor from where Bhupendrabhai buys his vegetables when he used to live at Gulab towers near Gurukul was the first to react to Vibes of India. “God bless him. He is a very nice man”.
Bhupendrabhai is considered one of the junior-most MLAs of Gujarat. A very gentle, soft-spoken, grounded person with no airs, Bhupendrabhai is a man of few words and no rhetoric.
In his one and half minute speech, he said he was thankful to all his seniors and party members and under the able leadership of Narendrabhai Modi, I will give my best to the party.
Bhupendrabhai will go and meet the Governor today at 6 pm. The swearing-in of Bhupendrabhai Patel will be held tomorrow along with two deputy chief ministers and about 15 ministers. The two deputy chief ministers are likely to be from OBC and Tribal segments.
Bhupendrabhai began his political life as a ward member and has always been associated with the BJP. He won the Ghatlodiya seat, a completely urban seat with over a victory margin of 1.17 lac votes defeating the then Congress city president Shashikant Patel.
With Bhupendra Patel’s appointment, the BJP has given a Patel, an urban face, an educated, clean, non-controversial personality.
Bhupendrabhai is hardly known outside Gujarat and his new ministry is likely to drop several of his seniors. Sources say BHupendrabhai was so humble that after being appointed the CM, he walked towards all MLAs thanking them, calling them Saheb.
Bhupendrabhai thanked PM Narendra Modi, BJP national president J P Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah and Gujarat State BJP president C R Paatil. He specially thanked Anandiben Patel, ‘for constantly showering her blessings on her him, always.’ Bhupendrabhai has always been the protege of Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben. He represents the seat she represented in Gujarat Assembly. However, for the last four years, Bhupendrabhai also has a good personal connection with Home Minister Amit Shah. Hence his appointment also buries all differences between Anandiben and Amitbhai.
From aadhar card to hospital admissions, Bhupendra bhai as a MLA and earlier as a councillor is known for helping all. Recently during the second Covid wave, BHupendrabhai is believed to help over two thousand people in different manners. Interestingly, Bhupendrabhai enjoys a very positive image amongst the media and Congress circles also.
Bhupendrabhai’s entry into Vidhansabha has also an interesting story. There was a buzz in 2017 that the Ghatlodiya seat ticket should be given to Anar, daughter of former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. People from the Amit Shah group had opposed this. So PM Narendra Modi asked both of them to decide upon a consensus candidate. That is how Bhupendra Patel got a ticket and became a MLA. Bhupendra Patel is the first Kadva Patel to become the Chief Minister of Gujarat and his appointment is a big blow to the Patidar agitation and AAP which has been attracting Patidars to the party.
Bhupendra Patel is a totally non-controversial person and has no criminal or corruption complaints against him. His assets as declared in his affidavit are Rs 5.20 crores.
And yes what is the common aspect between the newly appointed Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and the State BJP President C R Paatil. While C R Paatil won the Parliamentary polls from Navsari in South Gujarat with the highest margin 6.89 lacs in the country , Bhupendrabhai won the Ghatlodiya seat with a victory margin of 1.17 lacs which was the highest victory margin of the Assembly elections of Gujarat.