First-time MLA Bhupendra Patel rises through ranks to become next Gujarat chief minister


AHMEDABAD: Unanimously elected as the BJP legislature party leader on Sunday, Bhupendra Patel, a first-time MLA, is known as a soft-spoken worker of the party, who has made his way up in the state politics from the municipality level.

Patel (59), who will replace Vijay Rupani as the chief minister of Gujarat, had contested his maiden Assembly election from Ghatlodia constituency in Ahmedabad in 2017 and won it by a margin of over 1.17 lakh votes, which was a record during that election.

Fondly called as ‘Dada’ by many, he is considered to be close to former Gujarat chief minister and now Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel. He represents the Assembly constituency that is part of the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat represented by Union minister Amit Shah.

In the past, Patel had served as the chairman of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) between 2015 and 2017. Before that, he was also the standing committee chairman of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), the largest urban local body in Gujarat, between 2010 and 2015.

People close to him know Patel, who holds a diploma in civil engineering, as a smiling face, who is well-connected to the grass roots. Before contesting the Assembly election, he was active in local politics and became a member of Memnagar Municipality in Ahmedabad district, serving as its president twice.

Patel is also a trustee of Sardardham Vishwa Patidar Kendra, an organisation to dedicated to the socio-economic development of the Patidar community.