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A brief biography
As in 2021 Sept
NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced that Bhupendra Patel will be the new chief minister of Gujarat.
Patel, an MLA from Ghatlodiya constituency, will replace Vijay Rupani, who had resigned from the top post in an unexpected announcement.
Patel will be sworn-in as the chief minister and the decision regarding the new Gujarat cabinet will be taken after that.
The BJP MLA is considered as the close aide of former Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel, who was also a legislator from Ghatlodiya. After being chosen as the chief minister, Patel said he is glad to have the blessings of Anandiben Patel.
Patel, who belongs to the Patidar community, is the trustee at Patidar organizations Sardar Dham and Vishwa Umiya Foundation.
He served as the president of Memnagagar Nagarpalika in 1999-2000, vice-chairman of School Board of AMC in 2008-10 and councilor from Thaltej ward in 2010-15. He holds a diploma in civil engineering.
After Rupani's exit, it was strongly speculated that BJP would pick a Patidar as the new chief minister of Gujarat.
Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, administrator of the union territories of Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Praful Khoda Patel and Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya were among the list of contendors for the post.
However, Bhupendra Patel's name was not in the long list of probables being discussed in state political circles. In a way, the first term MLA emerged as the dark horse, a political observer said.
Who is Bhupendra Patel
Unanimously elected as the BJP legislature party leader, Bhupendra Patel, a first-time MLA, is known as a soft-spoken worker of the party who has made his way up in the state politics from the municipality level.
His name was floated by outgoing CM Vijay Rupani himself.
Fondly called as 'Dada' by many, Patel (59) had contested his maiden assembly election from Ghatlodia constituency in Ahmedabad in 2017 and won it by a margin of over 1.17 lakh votes, which was a record during that election.
Patel is former chairman of the standing committee of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
He has also served as the chairman of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA).
Bhupendra Patel, a brief profile
Bhupendra Patel had no inkling that he would be chosen as the next CM of Gujarat. At 10am, he was planting trees near BRTS tracks in Bopal, which falls in his Ghatlodia constituency. Hours later, he was named for the top post.
A down-to-earth and softspoken politician known for his unassuming persona, Bhupendra’s regular hangout spot till a day ago used to be a paan parlour in Ghatlodia where he spent time with friends and supporters. He has had no criminal case against him since he debuted as a councillor from the Memnagar nagarpalika in 1994.
He earned a diploma in civil engineering from the government polytechnic college in Ahmedabad in 1982 and entered the construction sector thereafter. He was initially employed by a construction company in Ghatlodia gram panchayat for two years. Then he teamed up with a few friends to take up housing construction projects. In 1987, he came in contact with former Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel and joined BJP.
Bhupendra got his first political break as a councillor of the Memnagar nagarpalika in west Ahmedabad. His stint included the chairmanship of the nagarpalika’s standing committee and in 1999, he became the municipal body’s president. “During this time, Bhupendra Patel was responsible for the nagarpalika’s turnaround. House tax collection reached its highest level,” said Jignesh Pandya, a close associate of Bhupendra. “It was rare then for a nagarpalika to register a profit. That achievement gave Bhupendra some fame.”
Bhupendra returned to the nagarpalika president’s post in 2004 and held it for two and a half years before Memnagar was merged into the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). He then went on to become the Ahmedabad Municipal School Board vicechairman. Around this time, his construction business began to grow.
Bhupendra’s big break came in 2010 when he was asked by Anandiben to contest from the Thaltej ward as a councillor. At the time she was the revenue and urban development minister.
He was made the AMC standing committee chairman when all other elected members were new in the civic body. “Bhupendra’s close association with Anandiben was known when he was put in charge of her assembly election campaign in 2012,” said an associate in the AMC. “He operated from a construction site office until he became the Ghatlodia MLA. He then finally bought office space where even today BJP karyakartas hold meetings.” Bhupendra is an ardent follower of Dada Bhagwan, said AMC councillor Jatin Patel.
As in 2022
Bhupendra Patel was administered the oath as the 18th chief minister by Governor Acharya Devvrat at a function held at the Helipad Ground near the new Secretariat.
60-year-old Patel resigned as chief minister along with his entire cabinet paving the way for the formation of a new government following the election results. The BJP won a record-breaking 156 of the total 182 seats.
Here's more facts to know about Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel
Bhupendrabhai Patel was born on July 15, 1962, in a Gujarati family in Ahmedabad. He graduated with a diploma in civil engineering from the Government Polytechnic in April 1982.
He started his political career in municipal bodies of Ahmedabad before being elected as member of Gujarat Legislative Assembly representing Ghatlodia constituency in 2017.
A low-profile BJP leader, he succeeded Vijay Rupani as the first Kadva Patidar to hold the position of chief minister in September 2021.
On September 11, 2021, Rupani resigned from the post and Patel was unanimously elected as the BJP legislative party leader and chief minister elect of Gujarat in the party legislature meeting at Gandhinagar. He was sworn in as the 17th chief minister of the state on September 13, 2021.
A builder by profession, Patel has vast experience in administration, having served as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and as a Corporator for Thaltej ward from 2010 to 2015.
He has been associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (R S S) and has served as a trustee for the Sardardham Vishwa Patidar Kendra and as the head of the foundation's standing committee.
Patel became a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly from the Ghatlodia constituency after winning the 2017 state elections, running against Shashikant Patel of the Congress. He won by a record margin of 1,17,000 votes.
He was elected again from Ghotlodia constituency in 2022 assembly election as a BJP candidate defeating his nearest rival and Congress candidate Amiben Yagnik.
In the just-concluded elections, Patel broke his own record and once again won from Ghatlodia constituency by a staggering margin of 1,91,000 votes.
It was under his leadership that the BJP won a record-breaking 156 of the total 182 seats, with the party forming the state government for the 7th consecutive time. This overwhelming majority of the saffron party depicts the absolute faith of the people in Patel's leadership.
The BJP swept the Gujarat assembly polls getting the highest number of seats any party has won after the formation of the state in the year 1960.
The BJP's seventh consecutive assembly poll win in Gujarat is its biggest since the founding of this state in 1960. It is an important win for the BJP.
Notably, there has always been a strong contest between the BJP and Congress in Gujarat, but this time around, Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) entry made this election an interesting one. AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal tried hard to woo the people of Gujarat with the promises of providing free electricity and water, Rs 1,000 per month for women and a loan waiver for farmers. On the other hand, Congress also tried to attract voters with all kinds of sops.
The BJP bagged 156 seats in the 182-member Assembly, its highest-ever poll tally in the state. The opposition Congress could manage only 17 seats while Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party had to be content with just 5 seats.
Three seats went to Independent candidates while the Samajwadi Party (SP) won a lone seat in the state.
The BJP, which has won its seventh straight election in Gujarat, not only improved its own best record of 127 seats in 2002-- the first election with Narendra Modi as Chief Minister -- but the Congress' tally of 149 seats in 1985.
(With inputs from agencies)