Vijay Rupani
Vijay RupaniIANS (File photo)

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigns after five years in office

Gandhinagar, September 11, 2021

In a sudden and unexpected move, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigned from his position after a little over five years in office and slightly more than a year ahead of the next Assembly elections in the state.

Rupani, 65, handed in his papers to Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat earlier in the day and announced his decision at a press conference in Gandhinagar, the state capital, this afternoon.

Rupani said he had carried out his responsibilities as Chief Minister for five years over two terms to the best of his abilities and felt it was now time for him to make way for fresh blood.

"I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the BJP leadership for the opportunity to serve as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

"I believe that, for the next stage of the development journey of Gujarat, there is need for new enthusiasm, new energy and a new leadership," he said. "I have, therefore, resigned from the position of Chief Minister."

Rupani said that, as a disciplined worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he had told the leadership that he would like to serve the party in any capacity that it deemed fit. "I will wholeheartedly carry out any task assigned to me by the party leadership," he said.

Rupani had been sworn in for a second consecutive term as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on December 26, 2017 after the BJP was returned to power in the state assembly elections, though with reduced numbers.

In the two-phase polling held on December 9 and 14, 2017, the BJP retained power for the sixth consecutive time, winning 99 seats in the 182-member legislative assembly. This was lower than the 115 it had won in the 2012 Assembly elections.

The opposition Congress won 77 seats, a significant improvement from its 2012 tally of 61.

Rupani had become the Chief Minister for the first time on August 7, 2016 after the resignation of Ms. Anandiben Patel, who had succeeded Narendra Modi in 2014 after he became the Prime Minister and moved to Delhi.

He was until then the Minister for Transport, Water Supply, Labour and Employment in the Anandiben Patel government.

Rupani is a prominent Jain leader and is considered to be close to both Modi and Shah. He was re-elected to the state assembly from the Rajkot West constituency.

Born on August 2, 1956, in Yangon, Myanmar (then Burma), Rupani started his political career as a student activist and later joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Jana Sangh, the precursor of the BJP, in 1971.

He has served as a municipal corporator in Rajkot and as mayor of the city. He also served one term as member of the Rajya Sabha from 2006 to 2012. He was elected to Gujarat Assembly in August 2014 in a bye-election. He was inducted as a Minister by Ms. Patel when she expanded her Cabinet.


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