BJP gives Vijay Rupani 2nd term as Gujarat CM
Gandhinagar: Vijay Rupani is all set to get a second term as Gujarat chief minister, as first reported by Millennium Post on December 20. After four days of hectic parleying and meetings, the Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Legislature Party on Friday unanimously elected Rupani as its leader.
The announcement was made by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the party's central observer for the selection of the Gujarat chief minister, after a meeting of the state BJP Legislature Party here. "A proposal to elect Rupani as leader of the state BJP Legislature Party and Nitin Patel as deputy leader of state Legislature Party has been adopted," Jaitley told a packed press conference. Patel is the incumbent deputy chief minister.
Though the BJP retained power in the key western state for a record sixth straight term, there was speculation about Rupani's continuance due to the party's narrow victory over challenger Congress. The BJP won 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, the first time its tally slipped below hundred since 1995 while the Congress clocked its best in many years, clinching 77. Together with its allies, the Congress has the backing of 79 MLAs.
Rupani's proximity to the top party leadership, his clean and caste-neutral image apparently tilted the scales in his favour. Jaitley said that the central observers, including BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey, asked the MLAs for their suggested names for the post of the leader and deputy leader of the legislature party, and one of them —Bhupendra Sinh Chudasama — suggested Rupani and Patel for the posts.
Five others backed Chudasama's proposal. The Union minister said that he asked the MLAs to come up with more names for the two top posts but as nobody came forward, Rupani and Patel were declared elected as the leader and deputy leader of the legislature party.
Asked why there was such suspense for a few days about who would be the next Gujarat chief minister, Jaitley said that this was a media creation. He added that Rupani will hold consultations with the elected MLAs before forming the new government.
Rupani, he said, would meet Governor O P Kohli and finalise the date for the swearing-in ceremony of the new government.