The surprise selection of Vijay Rupani as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat came as late as this afternoon, after a meeting between three BJP leaders and party chief Amit Shah.
Sources said during the one-hour meeting, outgoing chief minister Anandiben Patel was rooting for Nitin Patel, insisting that a Patel leader be chosen to lead the state ahead of next year’s elections. But party chief Amit Shah supported Mr Rupani, pointing out that a large section of the party leaders were in his favour.
Upset, Ms Patel — who had insisted that she was quitting as per the party’s age bar of 75 years – at one point alleged that her government had been sabotaged, sources said.
Rupani, who hails from an influential Jain family, has always been a close associate to former BJP chief ministers of Gujarat. Be it Keshubhai Patel, Narendra Modi or Anandiben Patel, Rupani always shared a close knit bond with them.
Rupani is also said to be a close acquaintance of Amit Shah and he is the only minister in the present cabinet who was jailed during the emergency.