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Vijay Rupani- a low-profile RSS man who has the trust of Gujarat's Shah

Born in Rangoon (now Yangon, Myanmar) Rupani, 61, joined an RSS shakha as a schoolboy, before graduating to the BJP via the Sangh's students wing--the ABVP.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Dec 23, 2017, 12.45 AM IST|Original: Dec 22, 2017, 08.27 PM IST
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Rupani-Patel duo to continue as Gujarat CM, deputy CM
Rupani-Patel duo to continue as Gujarat CM, deputy CM
GANDHINAGAR: When the news that Vijay Rupani would continue as chief minister of Gujarat reached his hometown of Rajkot, celebrations broke out among BJP workers.

For good reason. Rupani had built his political career brick by brick from the city, beginning as a student activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Born in Yangon, Myanmar, in 1956, Rupani and his family shifted to Rajkot in 1960. Rupani was drawn to the RSS and was a member of the Jan Sangh and subsequently the BJP since its inception. Rupani is the one of the few current BJP leaders in the state who was incarcerated during the Emergency period. Rupani started his political career as a corporator in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) in 1987 and went on to become chairman of its standing committee.

An astute politician, Rupani was in the Rajya Sabha between 2006 and 2012 besides handling an assortment of responsibilities. He was fielded from the BJP stronghold of Rajkot West in 2014 after party heavyweight Vajubhai Vala was made governor of Karnataka.

A close aide of BJP national president Amit Shah, Rupani was given a cabinet berth by the then Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, who succeeded Narendra Modi after he became Prime Minister. Rupani was also made president of the state unit of the party in February 2016.

In August 2016, when Anandiben Patel resigned in the wake of the Patidar and Dalit agitations, Rupani was made chief minister of Gujarat with Mehsana strongman Nitin Patel as his deputy. While his elevation did not go down too well with a faction of the BJP, Rupani stayed in the job and managed to retain the trust of the party high command following the election victory.

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