Ahmedabad: Chief Minister designate Vijay Rupani on Saturday met Gujarat Governor O P Kohli to stake claim to form the new government, a day after he was elected by BJP MLAs as their leader.
After staking claim, BJP state in-charge Dinesh Sharma announced that Rupani will take oath tomorrow at 12:40 PM. Mr Rupani, Mr Sharma, Deputy Chief Minister designate Nitin Patel, and other state leaders met the Governor. However, incumbent chief minister Anandiben Patel was absent.
“We have told the Governor that the BJP Legislature has endorsed the names of Vijay Rupani as new Chief Minister and Nitin Patel as Deputy Chief Minister,” Sharma said after the meeting. “The Governor has given his go ahead for the oath taking ceremony which will be held tomorrow at 12.40 PM,” Mr Sharma said.
He, however, evaded a direct reply to a question on why Anandiben was absent when party leaders went to stake claim, and only said, “She was present when she resigned. Today those who have been chosen are present.”
The party also did not gave a clear indication on who all shall be taking oath with Rupani and Patel, saying all those details are being worked out. Yesterday, in a dramatic turnaround the BJP central leadership decided on the name of Rupani to replace Anandiben as the chief minister of the state, instead of Nitin Patel who was front-runner for the post till the last moment.
The Legislature party meeting was delayed by about two hours due to jostling between the groups of party President Amit Shah and incumbent Chief Minister Anandiben. Anandiben had insisted that her confidante Nitin Patel should be made the chief minister of the state, while Shah had firmly wanted his nominee Rupani to be on the top post.
As a compromise formula, Rupani was made the Chief Minister, while Patel was declared as Deputy Chief Minister after intervention of central BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.