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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], September 12 (ANI): There was a celebratory atmosphere at the residence of Bhupendra Patel in Ahmedabad where his relatives and neighbours gathered on Sunday after the BJP announced his name as the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat.
"It's like Diwali today," said the Chief Minister- elect's wife Hetal Patel.
She said the family never expected him to be nominated as the new Chief Minister.
"We didn't expect him to be the chief minister. It was so unexpected that we did not even get time to plan his proper welcome," Hetal Patel added.
Bhupendra Patel's younger brother Ketan Patel thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving the 'surprise' to the family.
"There is a joyous atmosphere at home. We can't express how happy we are. All relatives and neighbours have gathered at our place to celebrate. We were not expecting this. It's a surprise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.
Ketan Patel said his brother worked for people his whole life and finally his hard work is getting the deserved recognition.
Devanshi Patel, the Chief Minister-elect's daughter-in-law, who was busy making preparations to give her father-in-law a traditional welcome with an "aarti", said the family received the good news on television.
"This was never expected; a complete surprise for our family. Even we saw it on the news. We are excited. He will be given a traditional welcome when he returns home," said Devanshi.
She asserted that her father-in-law's only goal is to help people. "He will keep doing that, irrespective of people's status, in his new role also," she added.
Bhupendra Patel is set to take oath as the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat at 2.20 pm on Monday.
Patel met Governor Acharya Devvrat at Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar earlier in the day to stake claim to the top post in the state.
Patel was elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party after a meeting in the state capital Gandhinagar today.
The Chief Minister-elect of Gujarat in his first media address after being nominated by the party today expressed gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president JP Nadda and his predecessor Vijay Rupani for reposing faith in him, and said he would take the development journey of the state forward.
A protege of former chief minister Anandiben Patel, Bhupendra Patel is MLA from the Ghatlodia seat, which was previously held by her.
Patel a first-time MLA had won his seat by a margin of 117,000 votes in 2017, the largest margin in that poll defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel.
He has previously served as chairman of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and had also chaired the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). Patel has also served as a municipal councillor in Ahmedabad.
With Assembly polls in the state scheduled to take place in 2022, BJP went with Patel, a Patidar face for the Chief Minister.
In Gujarat, the Patidars are a dominant caste with a sizeable control over the electoral votes. The community also dominates the political economy with a stronghold over education, realty and cooperative sectors.
Rupani took charge as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on August 7, 2016. He currently represents Gujarat's Rajkot West as MLA. In the 2017 state election, the BJP won 99 of the state's 182 Assembly seats, Congress got 77 seats. (ANI)