Earlier this week we published a report that speculated about Vijay Rupani being the next CM of Gujarat, among others. According to our report, his chances were high since he enjoys proximity with BJP’s national president Amit Shah. Vijay Rupani also has the endorsement of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, having been associated with the Sangh since 1971.
Our speculations were validated by BJP National President Shri Amit Shah. During the legislature meeting held to elect the next Gujarat CM, Amit Shah chose Vijay Rupani to take over Anandiben Patel. Another Gujarat BJP strongman Nitin Patel was billed for the top post, but Amit Shah cleverly chose Rupani for the CM Chair. Rupani turned 61 this week and this announcement is nothing short of an extended birthday celebration.
Here are the reasons that ‘might’ have led to Vijay Rupani’s ascension to the CM Chair:
Vijay Rupani – A leader who has served at every level of power hierarchy:
Rupani started out as a student activist. He served as the Corporator in Rajkot and went on to become the mayor of the city but he couldn’t contest elections from there for ten long years as the seat belonged to Party heavy weight Vajubhai Vala. Vijay Rupani was elected as the Member of Rajya Sabha in the year 2006. In August 2014, when Vajubhai Vala, the incumbent speaker of Gujarat Legislative Assembly, resigned as the MLA from Rajkot West as he became the governor of Karnataka, Vijay Rupani was nominated to contest his vacant seat. He won the bypoll by crushing Congress candidate Jayanti Kalaria with a margin of almost 25,000 votes. Rupani served as the chairman of manifesto committee during Keshubhai Patel’s regime. He served as BJP’s Gujarat unit general secretary and chairman of the Gujarat Finance Board during chief ministership of Narendra Modi.When Modi passed the baton to Anandiben Patel, Anandiben in her first cabinet expansion gave Rupani the charge of transport, water supply, labour and employment.
Vijay Rupani – An Efficient Manager
When Rupani was given the charge of transport, water supply, labour and employment by Anandiben Patel, it was touted as a bad move by Patel. Vijay Rupani was a powerful leader after all and had the quality, support and clout to create an alternate power centre in the government. Rupani chose to work instead. He was the top favourite of two popular BJP CMs Keshubhai Patel and Narendra Modi, but he gladly worked in the background and ensured electoral successes for BJP in the politically volatile Saurashtra region. Rupani played a crucial role in reining in several influential Patidar leaders in Saurashtra including former Union minister Vallabh Kathiria, Babku Undhad and Vitthal Radadiya.
As per party workers Vijay Rupani has the rare quality of keeping the workers happy and getting work done by the administration smoothly, a trait found in leaders of highest political acumen and personal integrity.
Vijay Rupani – The “right” caste?
Vijay Rupani is a Jain Bania by caste. His standing can be seen as a ‘possible’ way to avoid any clash between the Dalit and Patidar community both of which are waging separate wars against the government. Also being a non-OBC face, Rupani comes across as a neutral candidate to lead the party’s electoral charge for Gujarat State Assembly Elections 2017.
A Little Trivia to end this article with – Vijay Rupani is currently the only minister in the Gujarat cabinet to have been jailed during the Emergency. We wish the CM designate all the very best.