Law Kumar Mishra
Patna: Selection of Vijay  Rupani as successor to Anandiben Patel as chief minister of Gujarat on Friday was influnced by PM Narendra Modi who literally presented  a birthday gift to the 60 year old leader of Saurashtra. Rupani clebrated his 60th birthday on August 2.

Rupani, currently public health engineering, transport and finance minister in Anandiben Patel, is the only minister in Anandiben Patel cabinet who was jailed during emergency. A hardcore RSS worker, Rupani has risen from the level of municipal corporator of Rajkot, then occupied the office of Mayor of the headquarters of Saurashtra which is considered the second most important town after Nagpur for the RSS.

A law graduate of Saurashtra University, Rupani was the favourite of Keshubhai Patel, a former CM of Gujarat too.Keshubhai  is also from Rajkot and had made Rupani chairman of the election manifesto committee of BJP. From a  student activist to the chief minister, Rupani  has developed Rajkot during his enure as mayor and solved the water problem by linking several dams in the region to the municipal drinking waer system  of the town throuh 40 km long pipeline.

Known for his simple and mixing behaviour, Rupani did not have ego like his contemporary politicians in his own party. He tries to personally attend birthdays, marriage functions and even Uthawanas(condolence meetings) in Rajkot even as state party president.

Peronsl equation between the PM and the CM designate of Gujarat can be judged from the fact hat when Modi vacated his Rajkot West  seat in Gujarat assembly following his elevation as PM, Rupani was party’s choice and he got elected by handsome margin on October 19,2014.

Rupani, a Jain by faith, is not from the North or South Gujarat ,but from Saurashtra region which has over 50 Patels out of 58 MLAs in the state assembky from the region. He is recognised as hard administrator and successful organiser in politics. During the Vivekakand memorial yatra in 2012, Rupani had organised extensive programme of the then CM Narendra Modi.

Rupani has strong memory and recollects events and persons even  after decades. He maintains  live contacts with his friends. Selection of Nitin Patel as Rupani’s deputy may help assuage the hurt feelings of Patel who had supported the agitation launched by Hardik Patel.
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