Speculations were rife that Nitin Patel would be the next chief minister, however, party decided otherwise.
Rupani, who belongs to a religious minority, has been chosen to strike a balance among other dominant castes vying for the post.
Patels are the most dominant community in the State. But the Patel agitation was curbed with an iron hand.
As a result, the Patels have been angry with BJP. Hardik Patel, who led the movement for reservation, was recently released from jail. But BJP has other problems too in the State where BJP has been traditionally strong.
Dalits have been up in arms against BJP after self-styled 'gau rakshaks' attacked some youths who were skinning a dead cow. The decision to bring Rupani came to ensure a delicate balance. Rupani is a Bania but belongs to Jain faith. The Jain constitute 0.4% population in India.
But the Jain share in population in Gujarat is slightly more, at 1%. Jain community members have influence in BJP and the Sangh Parivar. Amit Shah who heads BJP is also a Jain. Jain leaders have headed Hindu right-wing groups including VHP and Bajrang Dal too.