The new Gujarat CM-to-be, Vijay Rupani, may come as a surprise choice for many, but party insiders knew Rupani was among the front-runners for the top post ever since the resignation of Anandiben Patel as Gujarat chief minister.
Three factors that favoured Vijay Rupani for Chief Ministership
1. Rupani's closeness to party president Amit Shah
Vijay Rupani is considered a close confidant of BJP president Amit Shah. By nominating him president of the State unit, Amit Shah had reposed great faith in his leadership skills to keep the party together in the absence of Modi and Shah himself from the state.
2. Rupani's RSS background
Vijay Rupani joined RSS as a teenager and later joined the Jan Sangh. He also participated in the nation-wide student movement led by Gandhian Jai Prakash Narayan that, among other things, led to clamping of the Emergency by Indira Gandhi in 1975. Rupani was also jailed during the emergency.
3. Vijay Rupani was backed by PM Modi
Vijay Rupani also enjoys excellent rapport with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As Modi passed the baton of chief ministership to Anandiben patel and took over as Prime Minister in Delhi, he made sure Vijay Rupani handled several key portfolios including transport and water supply in Anandiben’s cabinet.
Rupani is known to be a skilled administrator and at the helm his formidable skill-set and conciliatory approach shall be a big plus for an administration besieged by back to back patidar agitation and dalit controversy recently.
By chosing a non-OBC and a non-Patel as Gujarat new chief minister, the BJP has obviously given a go-by to the rule book. This leader from the Jain community may just be the antidote for the ills plaguing the party and administration in Gujarat heading for assembly polls next year.