Vijay Rupani To Return As Gujarat CM, Nitin Patel As Deputy CM

| December 22 , 2017 , 17:46 IST

The frontrunner for the Gujarat Chief Minister post, former CM Vijay Rupani was on Friday evening officially declared as the new Gujarat Chief Minister after a crucial meeting of newly elected BJP MLAs in Gandhinagar.

Former Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel will once again be the deputy CM, dismissing rumours of a possible announcement of 2 deputy CMs as in Uttar Pradesh.  

The announcement that Rupani would be leading the Legislature party in Gujarat was made by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the central observer for the process.

"Vijay Rupani chosen as Legislature party leader unanimously, Nitin Bhai Patel as the deputy Legislature party leader in a meeting today. Will inform you all about the swearing in, soon," Arun Jaitley said to media in Gandhinagar.

"Bhupendra Singh proposed these two names for the leader and Deputy leader, it was supported by 5 other MLAs who came to the dais and supported them," Jaitley said.

"This was then put to the house which they unanimously accepted. I also asked the members if anybody had any alternative proposal, and since there was none, the two were declared as unanimously elected," he said. 

While Rupani was considered to be the forerunner for the post of Chief Minister in Gujarat, names of 3 other leaders were also reportedly being considered for the post, including Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Mansukh Mandaviya and former deputy CM Nitin Patel.

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Although the BJP secured more than the 92-seat majority in Gujarat, which is considered to be a stronghold of the saffron party, the BJP won only 99 seats in the 182 member Assembly, as compared to the 115 seats BJP had secured in the 2012 assembly elections.

In comparison, this year Congress won 77 seats in Gujarat, after it had won only 61 seats in the 2012 state elections. The success of the Congress in Gujarat is largely being credited to the new party president Rahul Gandhi who conducted extensive road shows and campaigning in the poll-bound state.