In 1995, BJP formed its first government in Gujarat, with Keshubhai Patel as the Chief Minister. At that time, BJP’s main rival Indian National Congress was highly influential in rural Gujarat. Modi and Shah worked together to decimate Congress in the rural areas. Their strategy was to find the second most influential leader in every village, and get him or her to join BJP. They created a network of 8,000 influential rural leaders who had lost elections to the pradhan (village chief) post in various villages.