Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Rajkot Vijay Rupani was on Friday named the state’s next chief minister, and will replace Anandiben Patel, who announced her resignation from the post earlier this week. His deputy will be Nitin Patel, the state’s health minister, who won the Mehsana seat in the 2012 Assembly elections. The official announcement was made after the BJP’s parliamentary meeting on Friday, which was attended by party president Amit Shah, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and other senior functionaries.
Rupani is the BJP's Gujarat president, and was the minister for transport, water supply, labor and employment in the state cabinet. He is believed to enjoy widespread support among party cadres and has been a non-controversial politicians in the state.
Shah was earlier authorised by the BJP parliamentary board to pick the chief minister, after the party ruled him out for the position, saying he would continue to focus on national politics.
Anandiben Patel had announced her decision to step down on Facebook, saying someone younger should take on the job. She will turn 75 in November 2016. However, commentators suspect her decision had something to do with two major protests in the state, the Patidar agitation for quotas, and the demonstrations by Dalits across the state after four tanners were beaten up by cow vigilantes in Una.