Ahmedabad: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who was appointed as the BJP's observer for the selection of the new leadership in Gujarat, on Friday said that Vijay Rupani was chosen as the new Chief Minister and Nitin Patel as Deputy CM through a "democratic" process and "unanimously."
Speaking to the media after announcing the names, Gadkari stressed that the names of Rupani and Patel were finalised after thorough consultation with the party leadership.
"After coming here, I held talks with the party chief (Amit Shah) and (former Gujarat CM) Anandiben Patel. Vijaybhai Rupani's name was finalised after taking into consideration everybody's opinion and after discussions...And as per Anandiben's proposal, Nitin Patel was made the Deputy CM," Gadkari said.
"The selection happens through a democratic process. So two names came up and they were selected. The decision was taken unanimously after taking into account different opinions of the party leadership and party workers.
"The BJP believes in a democratic process. And our observers put forth all the demands infront of me. All the MLAs, MPs, PM, and Anandiben Patel were consulted...I will again say that the selection process was totally democratic. And the names were selected according to the proposal submitted by Anandiben," he said.
Replying to a question how Rupani was selected, even as Nitin Patel's office had said that he would be the next chief minister, Gadkari said, "Under Rupani's leadership, the BJP will once again emerge victorious in the 2017 Assembly elections."
"In the leadership of both of them, Gujarat will further develop in the coming times. The yardstick set by Narendrabhai Modi will be taken forward very well. In the coming state elections, we will get a bigger victory than last time," he said.
He also praised Anandiben Patel for her contribution towards the state and party as the chief minister, a post she held for two years, before she resigned on Wednesday.
"For two years as Chief Minister and eighteen years in political life Anandibenji took responsibilities of different ministries and did a great job. Even as a CM, she contributed significantly to the yardstick of development set by Narendra Modi," Gadkari said.