Ms Patel has a hard act to follow. In the national elections earlier this year, the BJP had won all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat. The party credits its spectacular win then to Mr Modi and is hoping that will extend to the by-elections.
These are the first elections in many years with Mr Modi not at the helm in Gujarat and there is pressure on Ms Patel, 72, to prove her leadership skills. Anandiben Patel was handpicked by Mr Modi in May this year for the chair he occupied for 13 years.
Of the seats where by-elections will be held are two that Mr Modi vacated as he headed to Delhi to take over as Prime Minister. He vacated the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat, which he had contested as a second seat in the national elections, and his assembly seat of Maninagar in Ahmedabad.
The rival Congress, annihilated in the state, has focused its campaign on those two seats; it accuses Mr Modi of abandoning Vadodara in favour of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, which he chose to keep as his Lok Sabha constituency. Mr Modi won Vadodara by a near record high number of votes.
Mr Kella's competitor Suresh Patel of the BJP believes the Modi factor will see him through in Maninagar. "Our honourable prime minister has worked tirelessly for the people of the state as a commoner and I also aspire to be a humble worker for the people of the constituency,'' said Mr Patel.
By-elections are also being held for eight seats that other BJP MLAs vacated after winning seats in Parliament. These are Anand, Limkheda, Deesa, Matar, Talaja, Tankara, Khambhalia and Mangrol.
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.