Bhupendra Patel takes oath as Gujarat CM


Gandhinagar, Sep 12 (UNI) Ghatlodia MLA Bhupendra Patel took the oath as the new chief minister of Gujarat on Monday. 
He was on Sunday unanimously elected by MLAs of the BJP in Gujarat as their leader to succeed Vijay Rupani. 
Home Minister Amit Shah was also present at the ceremony. 
Patel fought from the Ghatlodia seat in 2017 and won with a margin of over 1,17,000 votes against Shashikant Patel of the Congress. The seat was earlier held by former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel who resigned in 2016 and later was appointed as a governor. 
Mr Patel belongs to the Patidar community, an economically and politically influential group in Gujarat which is electorally important in the state. Shift of the votes of this community from Congress to the BJP has been called by experts a key factor in BJP continuing in power in the state for so long. 
In 2015, Gujarat witnessed agitations by the Patidar community demanding to be recognised as part of the Other Backward Class category. BJP's lost seats in the 2017 assembly polls which was seen as a fallout of the agitation, even though BJP managed to retain power. 
Bhupendra Patel is a first-time MLA. Earlier, he has served in the local municipal bodies, also serving as a municipal councillor in Ahmedabad. 
He has also served as the chairman of a Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and also the Chairman of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). 
Patel also has a long association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. 
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigned on Saturday as Chief Minister of the state leaving questions over who could be his successor.