Bhupendra Patel: Veteran leader who has worn many hats - Hindustan Times
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Bhupendra Patel: Veteran leader who has worn many hats

By, Ahmedabad
Dec 11, 2022 04:44 AM IST

Patel, who won his first assembly elections in 2017 from Ghatlodia seat, was the chief ministerial face for the party in the 2022 elections in which the BJP scripted history by winning 156 seats

In September 2021, when the name of the new chief minister in Gujarat was announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at an event in Gandhinagar, Bhupendra Patel was seen clapping his hands for a new leader. It was only when a colleague told him it was his name that was announced, that the news began to sink in.

Gujarat chief minister-designate Bhupendra Patel. (ANI)
Gujarat chief minister-designate Bhupendra Patel. (ANI)

“He had no idea that they would announce his name as the next chief minister. When a colleague told me about his name being announced, he first thought that at best, he would have got a ministerial berth. It took him some time for this big news to sink in,” a BJP functionary said, seeking anonymity.

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Also Read | 5 things to know about Bhupendra Patel, set to be Gujarat CM for 2nd term

Patel, who won his first assembly elections in 2017 from Ghatlodia seat, was the chief ministerial face for the party in the 2022 elections in which the BJP scripted history by winning 156 seats – the highest tally ever achieved by any party in the state.

In his victory speech in Delhi on December 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led the poll campaign, said that Gujarat broke a record to make a record. He also praised Patel for the big win in his constituency.

On Monday, Patel will be sworn in as the 18th chief minister of Gujarat.

In the elections, Patel won a second straight term from Ghatlodia in Ahmedabad district by a margin of 1.92 lakh votes.

A soft spoken and low profile Patidar leader, the 60-year-old began his political career in 1995 when he was appointed as chairman of the standing committee of Memnagar municipality.

He holds extensive experience in administration, having served the municipality for over a decade, becoming the chairman of the local body in 1999-2000 and 2004-2006.

In 2017, he became a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the first time, by winning the election from Ghatlodia constituency by a margin of 117,000 votes.

Under his tenure, the government introduced the semiconductor policy, New Biotechnology Policy, New Sports Policy, New IT/ITeS policy.

It was under his leadership that in October, the state achieved 100% tap water connections in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

His government, however, faced criticism over the release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case and over the Morbi bridge collapse that claimed 135 lives in October.

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