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Bhupendra Patel, the man who ‘broken Narendra’s record’ in Gujarat: 5 facts

Bhupendra Patel won by a margin of 1.92 lakh votes from his seat in Ghatlodia.

Gujarat BJP leader Bhupendra Patel will be sworn in as chief minister following the party’s record win in parliamentary elections last week. Around 25 ministers from his cabinet will also be sworn in as Mr Patel begins his second term in the top job.

Here are five facts about Bhupendra Patel:

  1. surprise move: Mr Patel replaced Vijay Rupani as chief minister of Gujarat in a surprise move in September last year. He was thought to be the pick of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

  2. The Patidar Factor: Electoral calculus played a key role in replacing Mr Rupani with Mr Patel. The Patidars, one of the most politically significant groups in Gujarat, were antagonized by the BJP and demanded a chief minister from their community. This time, the BJP performed extremely well in the Patidar-dominated seats in the state.

  3. Massive victory: The BJP’s electoral arithmetic led to a record victory under the leadership of Mr Patel. While the party won 156 seats out of a total of 182, Mr Patel himself won by a margin of 1.92 lakh votes from his Ghatlodia headquarters in Ahmedabad. “I had said during the campaign that this time Bhupendra will beat Narendra’s record (of 127 seats in 2002),” Prime Minister Modi said after the proclamation of the Gujarat election results.

  4. RSS link: Mr Patel, a builder by profession, has been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the BJP. He was also reportedly an aide to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh and former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

  5. Low profile: Mr Patel, who usually keeps a very low profile, was part of the Ahmedabad Municipality and the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority. He is known to be a troubleshooter and strategist within the BJP.

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