Vijay Rupani to continue as Gujarat chief minister, Nitin Bhai Patel his deputy: BJP

Speculation was rife whether Vijay Rupani would continue as chief minister after the BJP scraped through the Gujarat assembly elections, winning 99 seats in the 182-member assembly. Photograph:( Facebook )

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 22, 2017, 11.44 AM (IST)

Vijay Rupani will continue as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Nitin Patel his deputy, the BJP announced on Friday.

The announcement was made at a meeting conducted by elected BJP candidates under the steer of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who made the announcement.

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"People have given us mandate for 27 years. It is a huge victory that public has shown faith in us all these years," Vijay Rupani said at a press conference in Gandhinagar soon after the announcement.

Vijay Rupani was today elected the leader of the BJP legislature party in Gujarat, said Arun Jaitley, the central observer appointed by the BJP leadership for the election.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel will continue to be the second in command, after he was declared the deputy leader of the legislature party by Arun Jaitley.

"Vijay Rupani was 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 at a press conference in Gandhinagar.

Arun Jaitley explained how the election process had been conducted.

"The process of electing is that we set process into motion as Central Observers, call upon elected MLAs to propose a name. Bhupendra Singh proposed these two names for the leader and deputy leader, it was supported by five other MLAs who came to the dais and supported them," Arun 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."

Speculation was rife whether Vijay Rupani would continue as chief minister after the BJP scraped through the Gujarat assembly elections, winning 99 seats in the 182-member assembly and only seven more than needed for a majority. The Congress had won 80 seats.  

Rupani's proximity to the top party leadership, his clean and caste-neutral image apparently tilted the scales in his favour.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The announcement was made at a meeting conducted by elected BJP candidates under the steer of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who made the announcement.