Gujarat: Speculations Rife Over Next BJP Chief As CR Paatil Joins Modi 3.0 Cabinet

Gujarat: Speculations Rife Over Next BJP Chief As CR Paatil Joins Modi 3.0 Cabinet

Paatil's appointment was seen as a strategic move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, despite initial reservations about his outsider status, given his family’s roots in Jalgaon, Maharashtra.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Tuesday, June 11, 2024, 11:26 AM IST
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Gujarat: Speculations Rife Over Next BJP Chief As CR Paatil Joins Modi 3.0 Cabinet |

Ahmedabad: With Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil taking oath as a cabinet minister in the Modi 3.0 government, speculation is rife about his successor. Known for his election strategy prowess, Paatil has had a successful tenure at the helm of the Gujarat BJP since his appointment in 2020, just two years before the crucial 2022 Assembly elections.

Paatil's appointment was seen as a strategic move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, despite initial reservations about his outsider status, given his family’s roots in Jalgaon, Maharashtra. However, Paatil quickly dispelled any doubts about his leadership capabilities.

Within four months, the BJP secured victories in all eight Assembly constituencies in the November 2020 by-elections. The following year, under his leadership, the BJP dominated local body elections, winning 31 district panchayats, 200 of 231 taluka panchayats, and 75 of 81 nagarpalikas.

In a dramatic political shift in September 2021, Paatil oversaw the ousting of the entire Vijay Rupani government, replacing it with the Bhupendra Patel administration without any internal dissent. This move showcased his authoritative leadership and strategic acumen.

The pinnacle of Paatil's tenure came with the 2022 Assembly elections. The BJP, which had previously secured only 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly in 2017, achieved a resounding victory with 156 seats in December 2022. This not only marked a significant increase but also broke the previous record of 149 seats held by the Congress under Madhavsinh Solanki.

As the BJP looks ahead, several names are being considered as potential successors to Paatil.

Mayank Nayak

One of the frontrunners is Mayank Nayak, president of BJP's OBC Morcha and a recent Rajya Sabha MP. Considered a confidant of Union Minister Amit Shah, Nayak is well-acquainted with the Gujarat BJP organization. His connections and understanding of the party dynamics make him a strong contender.

Pradipsinh Jadeja

Another name in the fray is Pradipsinh Jadeja, a former Gujarat cabinet minister and influential BJP leader. Jadeja, also close to Amit Shah, could be seen as a strategic choice to address the concerns of the Rajput Kshatriya community. Despite currently being a sidelined leader, his past experience in both government and organizational roles positions him as a viable candidate.

Jagdish Vishwakarma

Jagdish Vishwakarma, the Gujarat Cooperative minister and a seasoned BJP veteran, is also being considered. Known for his strong decision-making and mediator skills, Vishwakarma has previously served as the BJP president of Ahmedabad city. His trusted relationship with Amit Shah and his organizational experience make him a suitable candidate for the state president role.

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