In Botad, the party has pinned its hopes on Saurabh Patel.
Bharatiya Janata Party is facing heat from influential Patidar community in Gujarat. There is an apparent rise in anger amongst Patidar youths against the ruling BJP government for not meeting the reservation demands of PAAS leader Hardik Patel. However, BJP is firm that the community will vote for it like past. The saffron party has tasked several community leaders to counter the Patidar challenge. In Botad, the party has pinned its hopes on Saurabh Patel. But, who is Saurabh Patel?
Saurabh is an influential politician in Patel-dominated Botad. Saurabh had represented the constituency thrice before shifting to Akota Assembly seat in 2012. The development works done by him are also recalled by people here. This time, BJP dropped its sitting MLA Maniya Thakarshibhai Devjibhai – a leader who had won the seat with 86,184 votes in 2012 assembly polls. It was said that development initiatives taken up by Saurabh came to a halt when he made a shift in 2012.
Saurabh is currently a Member of Legislative Assembly in the 13th Gujarat Legislative Assembly. Considered to be party’s urban face, Patel was once considered a successor to PM Narendra Modi and then to Anandiben Patel in the state. He, however, has stayed away from the limelight since the elevation of Vijay Rupani as the chief minister. In 2012, Saurabh was elected an MLA from Akota.
Saurabh holds the post of State Cabinet Minister in the Vijay Rupani-led state government. An MBA degree holder from US, Saurabh is considered to be one of the most educated Ministers serving in the Cabinet. The minister holds crucial portfolios for Energy & Petrochemicals, Mines & Minerals, Cottage Industry, Salt Industry, Printing, Stationery, Planning, Tourism, Civil Aviation, finance and Labour & Employment.
Saurabh Patel is also known for his relationship with Ambani family. He is the husband of the first cousin of Mukesh and Anil Ambani. Saurabh is the son-in-law of Ramnikbhai Ambani, the elder brother of late Dhirubhai Ambani. Interested in Energy field, Saurabh Patel has succeeded in making an Energy Negative Building in Gandhinagar. He is also considered the brain behind Asia’s Biggest Solar Power Project as well as the pilot project of rooftop Solar Panel on Narmada Canal.