Vijay Rupani has been named as the chief minister of Gujarat and Nitin Patel will assist him as the deputy chief minister.
The names were announced in the presence of national BJP president Amit Shah, BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Saroj Pande at the party's state headquarters at Shree Kamalam in Gandhinagar.
Celebrations broke out in Mehsana even before his name was announced.
Until his name was announced as the successor to Anandiben Patel, 60-year-old Vijay Rupani was holding the dual post of minister of water resources and tourism, and the state BJP president.
A graduate in arts and a post graduate in law, Rupani had succeeded R.C. Faldu as the 10th state party president in February, this year.
Rupani hails from the Bania community and has held many positions, including standing committee chairman of Rajkot Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Rajkot. He was thrice elected as BJP general secretary of the state and a Rajya Sabha MP.
He was born on August 2, 1956.
Rupani is a leader liked by both party leadership and the RSS. He had begun his career as a worker of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and even went to jail during the Emergency.
He held a few high-profile positions when Keshubhai Patel and Narendra Modi were chief ministers. During Patel’s time, he was chairman of the manifesto committee and under the Modi government, he was state BJP general secretary. He was also chairman of the Gujarat Finance Board.
In October 2014, he won Rajkot (West) Assembly by-poll by a good margin. The election was necessitated after the Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly, Vajubhai Vala, resigned following his appointment as the governor of Karnataka.
His proximity to national party president Amit Shah and the fact that he is a Baniya, neither a Patel nor a Dalit, worked in Rupani's favour.
Sources said, Rupani was announced as the state's new chief minister, in spite of Anandiben Patel's strong reservations about the decision.