Who Will Succeed Vijay Rupani as Gujarat CM? Here Are the Frontrunners

Here's a list of frontrunners for the post of Gujarat chief minister.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>From Left to Right: CR Paatil, Nitin Patel and Mansukh Mandaviya.</p></div>

After Vijay Rupani’s sudden exit as chief minister of Gujarat, speculation is rife on who the BJP's central leadership will pick as his replacement. A meeting led by BJP General Secretary BL Santhosh is currently underway at the party's Gujarat headquarters in Ahmedabad.

A new CM face is likely to be announced on Sunday, 12 September, after a meeting with all the MLAs.

Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel and Union Minister for Health Mansukh Mandaviya are hinted to be frontrunners for the post. They both were also present at the meeting.

CR Paatil, who won the Lok Sabha elections in both 2014 and 2019 from Gujarat's Navsari constituency, is also reportedly being considered as a possible replacement for Rupani.

Three other names doing the rounds within party circles are: Praful Khoda Patel, a controversial administrator of two Union Territories, state agriculture minister RC Faldu and Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Farming Parshottam Rupala.

Let's take a closer look at each of them:

Nitin Patel

Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel is a likely candidate for the post of chief minister.

The seasoned politician, who is also a successful businessman, was elected to the Assembly from the state’s Mahesana constituency.

He has formerly held the posts of finance minister, minister of road and building, minister of health and family welfare, among others, in the Gujarat government.


CR Paatil

Chandrakant Raghunath Paatil (formerly Patil) is the incumbent president of BJP Gujarat, and a Member of Parliament from Navsari constituency.

A Marathi who had formerly served as president of BJP's Maharashtra unit, Paatil, appointed to the post in July 2020, is the first non-Gujarati party chief of the western state.

A trusted aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Paatil had, in 2015, been given the charge of supervising the development of Varanasi, the prime minister’s constituency.

The BJP Gujarat president had started his career as a police officer in the Gujarat force in 1975.

Mansukh Mandaviya

In the aftermath of the devastation caused by the second wave of COVID-19, Mansukh Mandaviya was appointed as Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, after Prime Minister Modi carried out a rejig of the Union Cabinet on 6 July.

Prior to taking charge as health minister, Mandaviya was MoS for chemicals and fertilisers ministry and held the independent charge of shipping and waterways.

The 49-year-old took an active interest in politics from a young age and was made the state executive committee member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) of the Gujarat unit early on.

At 28, he was elected from Palitana constituency and became the youngest MLA in Gujarat.


Praful Patel

Praful Khoda Patel was appointed as the administrator of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep a little over eight months ago, on 5 December 2020.

A former BJP leader, Patel served as home minister of Gujarat under Modi when the latter was chief minister in 2010.

Several student organisations, including the Lakshadweep Students’ Association, and political parties have been demonstrating against a slew of “anti-people” and “authoritarian” policies introduced by Patel over the last few months.

Several Rajya Sabha MPs from Kerala had also written to President Ram Nath Kovind, alleging that all orders issued by Patel had an “ulterior motive to destroy the traditional life and cultural diversity of the people of Lakshadweep.”

RC Faldu

Ranchhodbhai Chanabhai Faldu is an MLA from Jamnagar South Assembly seat . He is currently cabinet minister of Agricultural, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Transport.

Parshottam Rupala

Parshottam Rupala is a cabinet minister in the Modi government at the Centre, holding the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying. He is a member of Rajya Sabha who was selected to the Upper House from Gujarat.

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