It was a busy weekend at Kamalam, the Gujarat BJP’s state office at Gandhinagar. Not long ago, in Septemebr 2021, Bhupendra Patel was little known here as an MLA from Ghatlodia who was to replace Vijay Rupani as the CM. After the historic win in 2022 Assembly polls, Patel is the man all are toeing. In Gujarat, at least.
MLAs started arriving at the office onwards 10 am. Nearly 53 BJP MLAs have been elected to the House. Young guns Alpesh Thakor and Harsh Sanghvi, alongside older names Shankar Chaudhary and Hrishikesh Patel, were the cynosure of media attention.
The previous day, Friday, saw party senior leaders Rajnath Singh, B.S. Yediryurappa and former Jharkhand CM Arjun Munda arrive as central observers for the meeting of the party’s new MLAs. The following day hosted the meeting to elect the legislature party leader, aka the chief minister.
The closed-door meeting began at 1 pm, where outgoing MoS, Finance, Kanu Desai, is believed to have proposed the name of Bhupendra Patel. His nomination found support from Purnesh Modi, Shankar Chaudhary, Manisha Ben Vakil and Raman Patkar.
At the press briefing later, when asked to reason BJP’s stounding success, Patel replied: “Gujarat knows it is in safe and progressive hands since the past 27 years. We have taken care to keep the faith. All issues mentioned in sankalp patra will be a priority for the state government.”
Thereon, Patel (62), met Governor Acharya Devvrat to stake a claim to form the government. He was accompanied by MLAs Kanu Desai, Ganpat Vasava, Harsh Sanghvi, Jitu Vaghani and Purnesh Modi among others.
Come Monday and Patel will be sworn in as the 18th chief minister of Gujarat at helipad ground near the new secretariat in Gandhinagar.
Meanwhile, later on Saturday, CM elect Patel and BJP state chief C.R. Patil left for Delhi in a special aircraft of the state government for consultations on names to be enlisted in the government. The highly speculated meeting will be held in the presence of PM Modi and MHA Amit Shah.
It is interesting to note that of the 20 ministers in the Patel government who were given tickets, 19 have won. However, reports state that probables are waiting on the sidelines, all fingers crossed.