Bhupendra Patel will continue as the chief minister of Gujarat for a second straight term with the newly-elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs electing him as the leader of the legislative party at a meeting here on Saturday.
After the meeting, Patel met Governor Acharya Devvrat at Raj Bhavan and staked a claim to form a government, two days after the BJP won a record mandate in the state elections by winning 156 seats in the 182-member House.
He will take oath as the 18th chief minister at a function to be held at the Helipad ground near the new secretariat in Gandhinagar on December 12, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah along with chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, the BJP had said.
Addressing a press conference after the legislative party meeting held at state BJP headquarters ‘Kamalam’, Patel said the implementation of promises made in the BJP’s poll manifesto, including the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, will be the priority of his government.
“The newly-elected MLAs met today at ‘Kamalam,’ where the proposal to name Bhupendra Patel as the chief minister of Gujarat was unanimously approved,” the BJP said in a statement.
Patel’s name was proposed by MLA Kanu Desai and supported by MLAs Shankar Chaudhary, Purnesh Modi, Manisha Vakil, Raman Patkar and party chief whip Pankaj Desai.
Senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, B S Yediyurappa and Arjun Munda were present at the meeting as the BJP’s central observers.
Patel said the state government and the BJP will work effectively under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He said the people of Gujarat are convinced that BJP will continue its endeavour to resolve their issues with the same dedication as the party has been working. This is the seventh straight term of BJP in Gujarat.
“Gujarat has once again put its stamp of approval on the leadership and politics of development of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and put its trust in the Bharatiya Janata Party,” Patel told reporters. He won the Ghatlodia Assembly seat in Ahmedabad district by the highest margin of 1.92 lakh votes in the just-concluded Assembly elections.
“PM Modi’s commitment to take Gujarat to the league of developed nations will be realised by all the MLAs and state BJP chief CR Paatil. The government and the party will work effectively under the guidance of PM Modi and Amit Shah,” he said. Patel said the implementation of the promises made in the BJP’s poll manifesto will be the priority of his government.
“We have formed a committee (on Uniform Civil Code) and we will act on its recommendations. The BJP has not left a single promise unfulfilled and it has resolved pending issues like (abrogating) Article 370 (regarding a special status to Jammu and Kashmir) and (the construction of ) Ram Mandir (in Ayodhya),” he said when asked about the BJP’s poll promise to implement the UCC.
The BJP had also promised to set up an ‘anti-radicalisation Cell’ to identify and eliminate terror threats. At the BJP legislative party meeting, MLA and former Gujarat minister Kanu Desai proposed Patel’s name as the leader of MLAs.
MLAs Shankar Chaudhary, Purnesh Modi, Manisha Vakil, Raman Patkar and the party chief whip Pankaj Desai supported the proposal, a BJP leader said. “Rajnath Singh announced Patel will remain the leader of the BJP’s legislative party. Singh praised Patel’s soft and determined nature and his style of working during his tenure as the chief minister. He said the public as well as legislators of BJP liked Patel’s nature and announced his name unanimously,” BJP leader Bharat Pandya said.
Patel, 60, resigned as the chief minister along with his entire cabinet on Friday to pave the way for the formation of a new government. A low-profile leader and the first from the Kadva Patidar sub-group to become CM, Patel replaced Vijay Rupani in September 2021.