Gujarat: Likely faces in Vijay Rupani's cabinet

A delegation, including state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani and senior BJP leader Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, met state Governor O P Kohli with a letter staking claim to form the government.

The BJP on Friday announced that Mr Vijay Rupani, a close confidante of BJP president Amit Shah, will continue as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat where the party came to power for the sixth time and Nitin Patel will retain the post of deputy Chief Minister. Rupani was named as the acting Chief Minister.

The Congress Party trailed in second with 77 seats, followed by the Bharatiya Tribal Party (two) and NCP (one), while independent candidates won three seats.

With the chief minister hailing from Saurashtra region and deputy chief minister from north Gujarat, the party may consider rewarding legislators from central and south Gujarat.

Both Rupani and Nitin Patel will take oath as Gujarat CM and deputy CM respectively.

Six of the BJP's ministers and the speaker of the assembly Ramanlal Vora lost the elections. He at present is one of the tallest Patel leaders in the BJP.

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Born in Burma (now Myanmar) in 1956, Rupani moved to India as a child with his parents. He later joined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and moved to Jan Sangh in 1971.

The observers said a new era of development would be ushered with the Modi government at the Centre and the BJP government in the State.

He has served as a corporator in Rajkot and has been the mayor and also a member of Rajya Sabha.

The BJP won the election for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly on Monday, claiming a clear majority of 99 seats.

While the selection of Rupani as CM in the State was a smooth affair, the party failed to elect its legislature party leader in Himachal Pradesh as supporters of the party's CM face PC Dhumal and frontrunner Jai Ram Thakur staged protest even as BJP Central observers - Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar - were holding a meeting in Shimla to settle the leadership issue. Another notable leader who did not contest this time is Shankersinh Vaghela, who was the leader of the opposition before he left the Congress party earlier this year. "We have also invited Union ministers and other senior leaders of our party for the event", said Vaghani.

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