This is not the first time Nitin Patel is being considered as a strong contender for the post of Gujarat chief minister. “I am ready to be the chief minister if the party asks me to take up the job," he had said in 2014, during the Lok Sabha elections.
Considered a seasoned politician, Patel rose up the ranks over the years, especially in the last two years as the second-in-command of CM Anandiben Patel. Currently serving as health, public welfare and road & building minister in Gujarat, Patel has also been a businessman, having dabbled in cotton ginning and oil pressing.
Having contested his first Assembly election in 1995, Patel has usually won from the Kadi constituency and became a Cabinet minister in the Keshubhai Patel government. He has been in the party for about 30 years and has served in various positions within the organisation. While his industry friendliness could help the state continue to be a favoured investment destination, Nitin has not been favoured among the Patidar community, despite being a member. If chosen for the post, he might face a tough task in placating the community.