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Removed from government last year, ex-CM Vijay Rupani, ex-deputy CM to not contest Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022

The announcement came as the BJP's Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting in New Delhi was under way
Last Updated : 09 November 2022, 16:49 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2022, 16:49 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2022, 16:49 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2022, 16:49 IST

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Former Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and ex-deputy chief minister part of his government, Nitin Patel, on Wednesday announced that they won't be contesting upcoming Assembly elections. The BJP leadership had removed the two senior BJP leaders from their posts along with entire cabinet last year in an unprecedented move and current chief minister Bhupendra Patel and other ministers were sworn in.

The announcement came as the BJP's Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting in New Delhi was under way, where chief minister Bhupendra Patel and Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil were also present. After the meeting, the BJP will announce its list of candidates.

66-year-old Rupani, a sitting MLA from Rajkot (West), announced that he had "conveyed his message of not contesting the polls to party leaders sometime ago."

"As a senior BJP leader, I don't want to contest this election. I have not staked any claims and will work to ensure the party candidate's victory," Rupani said.

Similarly, Nitin Patel, the deputy CM minister in the Rupani government and a sitting MLA from Mehsana also wrote a letter to the party's Gujarat president, C R Paatil, informing him that his name shouldn't be considered.

In the handwritten letter in Gujarati, Patel said, "I want to inform you that in the 2022 Gujarat Assembly election, I do not wish to contest from the Mehsana seat. Therefore, I request you not to consider my name in the candidate selection process."

Patel started his political career in 1977 as a member of Kadi Municipality. "As a worker of Jan Sangh and then Bharatiya Janata Party, I served the party and the people four times as MLA from Kadi Assembly seat and Mehsana seat since 2012." The letter, Patel made public on his Twitter handle, also said that he will remained dedicated to lakhs of BJP workers, people and his "political guide Narendrabhai Modi" for his "successful political career of 32 years."

Rupani and Patel, who were heading the Gujarat government, were removed on September 11 last year in a sudden move along with 22 other ministers, in what the BJP termed an "abhinav prayog" (new experiment). The move was aimed at bucking the anti-incumbency factor as the BJP brought 24 new ministers led by first-time MLA Bhupendra Patel as the CM.

Many other senior BJP leaders, who were ministers in Rupani government, are also set to be ousted from the list of probable candidates, including Bhupendra Chudasama among others.

The Gujarat Assembly polls will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 8

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Published 09 November 2022, 14:18 IST

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