Vijay Rupani will continue as Gujarat CM; Nitin Patel his deputy

Announcement was made by Union minister Arun Jaitley after his meeting with the legislatures in Gujarat.

Ahmedabad: Vijay Rupani will continue as the chief minister of Gujarat and Nitin Patel as his deputy. The announcement was made on Friday evening after a meeting of the BJP's newly-elected legislators, which was supervised by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Addressing the media after the party's legislatures meet at Gandhinagar in Gujarat on Friday, Arun Jaitley said: "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 that Bhupendra Singh proposed the two names for the leader and deputy leader which was supported by five other MLAs who came to the dais and supported them.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah had earlier this year indicated that Vijay Rupani and deputy chief minister Nitin Patel would continue in their positions if the party is voted to power.

The BJP has won for the sixth consecutive time in the recently concluded Assembly elections in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat.

Soon after the BJP swept the Gujarat elections, the party's decision making body decided had sent Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and party’s general secretary to Gandhinagar as BJP’s observers for the selection of the chief minister in Gujarat.

Chances of Rupani holding the chief ministerial position of Gujarat were diminishing after the BJP won 99 seats, only seven more than it needed for a majority to form government and 16 less than it had won last time.

The party now has achieved the 100 seat mark in the Gujarat Assembly after an independent MLA Ratansinh Rathod from Lunawada offered his support to the BJP.

The Congress improved its position bagging 77 seats in the 182-seat Assembly.

After the muted result the BJP took time to come to a decision amid speculation over other probable candidates for the top post, like union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya, both prominent Patel or Patidar leaders from Saurashtra, the region where the BJP lost most heavily.

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