Nitin Patel, also known as Nitinbhai Patel, is the deputy chief minister of Gujarat who was also among the front-runners for the post of Gujarat CM after Vijay Rupani handed in his resignation.
Nitin Patel has been serving as the deputy CM since August 5, 2016, while also holding the portfolios for the Minister for Health, Medical Education, Family Welfare, Road and Building, Capital Project.
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In August 2016, after Anandiben Patel resigned as the chief minister of Gujarat, it was speculated that Nitin Patel would succeed her but last-minute changes led to Vijay Rupani being given the top office in the state.
Patel is a Gujarat University Alumni and has been a member of the Gujarat legislative assembly since 2013.
He identifies as a “grass root level worker” of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Patel was born on June 22, 1956 in an elite family at Visnagar in Mehsana District.
He was brought up in a family that was financially well-off since the time of his grandfather.
Following his education, Patel decided to join the family business and helped it succeed further.
He is married to Shrimati Sulochanaben Patel and has two sons with her, Jaimin and Sunny.
Patel started his political career in the year 1977 by becoming the Member of the Kadi Municipality and was appointed as the Director of APMC, Kadi in 1984.
Between 1988-1990, he was elected for the second time in Kadi Nagarpalika.
In the following years, Patel progressed continuously and almost a decade later was announced as the President of Mehsana District Bhartiya Janta Party.
In 2001, he was appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Finance, Gujarat.
In 2012, he added more portfolios to his name including finance, health, medical education, family welfare and transport, before being accepted as the deputy chief minister of Gujarat.
After Vijay Rupani’s resignation as Gujarat CM, Patel’s name is on top along with other contenders like State BJP president C R Paatil and Union health minister Mandaviya.
Speaking ahead of BJP’s Sunday meeting to finalise the name for the next Gujarat CM, Patel said the leader will have to be “popular, strong, experienced, and the one who is known and acceptable to all”.
“I believe that all the processes will be completed today and the national leadership will decide on the name of the new chief minister, as per the opinions gathered from the MLAs and senior Gujarat BJP leaders,” Nitin Patel said.