Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Aug 5 : In a surprising move, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit chief Vijay Rupani on Friday was appointed as the new Gujarat Chief Minister.
In a crucial meeting attending by BJP Chief Amit Shah and Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari at the party headquarters in the state, the decision to make Rupani as the next Chief Minister was announced.
Gujarat's health minister Nitin Patel was appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister. The decision comes as a major twist as Patel was the frontrunner for the post after Rupani had bowed out from the race, saying he would like to work for the party.
Earlier, the BJP central leadership made it clear that a state MLA would be assigned the job. Anandiben Patel had tendered her resignation to the Governor on Wednesday. Governor O.P. Kohli has asked her to continue as the care taker chief minster till the alternate arrangement. Patel, who took charge as Gujarat's first woman chief minister after Narendra Modi took charge as the Prime Minister, citing age issues had in her Facebook post earlier urged the BJP to relieve her from the coveted post.
Patel said that she had two months earlier sought to resign from the party to give "enough time to the new incumbent to prepare for important events like the upcoming 'Vibrant Gujarat Summit'.
Her government was criticised for its handling of the outrage created by the public flogging of four Dalit men by self-styled cow protection groups.