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New Delhi: First-term MLA Bhupendra Patel took the oath as the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat on Monday. Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended the oath-taking ceremony.

Bhupendra Patel was administered the oath by the Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar were also present during the ceremony.

Former Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and deputy CM of the state Nitin Patel also attended the swearing-in ceremony.

As informed by the BJP sources earlier, Only Patel took the oath on Monday as a decision regarding the new Gujarat cabinet is yet to be taken by the party.

This comes two days after Vijay Rupani's surprise exit from the post, a year ahead of the Assembly polls

The party's CM choice came as a surprise for many as the low-profile, first-time legislator was not seen to be among the top contenders for the post.

Who is Bhupendra Patel?

Born in Ahmedabad, Patel is an MLA from the Ghatlodia seat, previously held by the former chief minister and now Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel. He won the seat by over 1.17 lakh votes in 2017, the highest margin in that poll. Ghatlodia is part of the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency represented by Shah.

Patel, who holds a diploma in civil engineering, has served as Ahmedabad municipal councillor and as the chairperson of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority. He is also a trustee at Patidar organisations Sardardham and Vishwa Umiya Foundation.

With state Assembly polls scheduled in December 2022, the BJP is banking on Bhupendra Patel, a Patidar, to lead the party. In the 2017 Assembly elections, BJP won 99 of the 182 seats and Congress got 77.

Bhupendra Patel to benefit BJP in the upcoming Gujarat polls

The Patidars are a dominant caste in Gujarat with a sizeable control over the electoral votes and dominate the political economy with a stronghold over education, realty and cooperative sectors.

At Sunday's legislature party meeting, the proposal to elect Patel the legislative party leader was moved by CM Vijay Rupani, whose resignation on Saturday, 15 months ahead of the state Assembly polls, surprised many political observers, as reported by media.

Patel has never held a ministerial post, just like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was never a minister when he became Gujarat CM 20 years ago. Modi was sworn in as CM on October 7, 2001, and became an MLA on February 24, 2002, by winning the Rajkot seat bypoll.
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