Ahmedabad, May 21 UNI | 2 months ago

The 72-year-old Anandiben Patel, who was bestowed Gallantry Award of Gujarat Government for saving two drowning girls in the river Narmada, will be the first woman Chief Minister of the state.

A powerful minister and a close aide of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, Anandi will be the 15th Chief Minister of the state.

Initially hesitant to tread the political path, she has been handling four top portfolios-- Revenue and Urban Development and Urban Housing, Road and Building, Disaster Management and Capital Projects portfolios.

Born on November 21, 1941 at Kharod in Vijapur taluka in Mehsana district, Anandi has a vast experience of administration and organisation and is a MLA for the fourth consecutive term.

A member of the BJP since 1987, she has been a key leader in the party cadre of Gujarat.

Starting her political career by becoming a Rajya Sabha member (1994-98), Anandi at present is one of the longest serving women MLAs in the state.

She moved to Gujarat during the state elections in 1998.

Anandi married Mafatlal Patel in 1962, and they moved to Ahmedabad four years later, where she continued her studies. She earned her master's degree in science. Anandi joined as a primary school teacher in Mohniba School Vidyalaya in 1970.

She declined all the other offers only to stay with the school for 30 years even while she was in important political positions.

Besides her political achievements, Ms Patel had been awarded on several occasions.

She was awarded 'VeerBala' award in Mehsana for her outstanding achievement in athletics.

Her political career began with an accident during a school picnic in 1987.

Two girl students from her school accidentally fell into the river Narmada. She jumped into the river and single handedly saved two drowning girls.

Impressed by this heroic act, the BJP top leadership suggested to her to join the party. More UNI KK RP1637 NNNN

AHMEDABAD Anandi, initially declined the offer, but later joined the saffron party.

In 1998, in her first term as Education Minister, she started 'Lokdarbar' to solve issues related to schools and education on the spot. She is also credited with increasing school enrollment in the state. Anandi shares a good rapport with Modi. In the 2012 Assembly polls, she was shifted from the Patan constituency to the Ghatlodia seat in Ahmedabad city.

Due to her organisational skills, she was asked to handle the election campaign of BJP veteran leader L K Advani from Gandhinagar in the recent Lok Sabha polls which the former Deputy Prime Minister won by a huge margin.

(Posted on 22-05-2014)