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  India   All India  23 Dec 2017  BJP retains Vijay Rupani as Gujarat CM

BJP retains Vijay Rupani as Gujarat CM

Published : Dec 23, 2017, 1:06 am IST
Updated : Dec 23, 2017, 1:06 am IST

No decision on Himachal.

Vijay Rupani
 Vijay Rupani

New Delhi: The BJP on Friday announced that incumbent Vijay Rupani, a close confidante of BJP president Amit Shah, will continue as the chief minister of Gujarat where the party came to power for a sixth successive term. Nitin Patel will retain the post of deputy chief minister.

Also, the BJP government’s support in the state Assembly rose to 100 after an independent MLA from Lunawada, Ratansinh Rathod, in a letter to governor O.P. Kohli, extended his support to the saffron party.

Mr Rathod, who has declared unconditional outside support to the BJP without joining the party, also attended the BJP MLAs’ meeting at its headquarters to elect their leader. The BJP had retained power by winning 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly while the Congress bagged 77 seats. There were six MLAs from other parties and independents.

Meanwhile, in Himachal Pradesh where the BJP came to power, suspense still continues over who will be its chief minister. While senior leader Jairam Thakur is said to be leading the race, party stalwart and former CM P.K. Dhumal’s name is also doing the rounds despite his losing the Assembly election.

The BJP had to face some embarrassment after supporters of Mr Dhumal and Mr Thakur created a ruckus outside the venue where party’s central observers and Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar were holding a meeting of the state core committee on the CM’s issue. Mr Dhumal was also present in the meeting. Supporters of both leaders shouted slogans against each other’s leader.

In Gujarat, the BJP’s legislature party held a meeting to elect Mr Rupani as its leader. Party observers Union minister Arun Jaitley and national general secretary Saroj Pandey and state in-charge Bhupendra Yadav were also present in the meeting. Former chief minister Anandiben Patel, who could be promoted as a governor, also attended the discussions.

After Mr Jaitley announ-ced names of Mr Rupani and Mr Patel as the next CM and deputy chief minister, the two visited the Jagannath Temple.

Mr Jaitley said that he had asked the MLAs to come up with more names for the two top posts, but as nobody came forward, Mr Rupani and Mr Patel were declared elected as the leader and deputy leader of the legislature party.

After his name was announced, Mr Rupani tweeted, “Team Gujarat is fully prepared and committed to fulfil expectations and aspirations of the people from all strata irrespective of their caste, religion, profession or practice. Together we shall head towards #NewIndia... To be able to work for the welfare of the people and contribute in all-round development of the state is a reward of the lifetime.  Humbled and honoured indeed.”

Mr Jaitley said Mr Rupani will hold consultations with elected MLAs before forming the new government.

Tags: vijay rupani, nitin patel