Rupani pips Patel to Gujarat CM post

BJP national president Amit Shah yesterday arrived here and initiated talks with party leaders at his residence as part of an exercise to finalise the name of the successor to Anandiben Patel, who resigned as the CM of Gujarat.

He also said that the party appreciated the "satisfactory" work done by her as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Recently, when the Una incident went viral, it not only tarnished her image but it also made a dent to BJP's fortunes in upcoming UP elections.

After all the half a dozen names were discussed, Nitin Patel and Vijay Rupani had emerged as leading choices. The meeting was attended by including Anandiben, Rupani, Nitin Patel, Parshottam Rupala, Surendra Patel, Mansukh Mandaviya, Saurabh Patel, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama. BJP sources claim that outgoing CM Anandiben was not happy with the decision, but Amit Shah prevailed upon her and the party. Patel had been at the receiving end of a string of high-pressure crises in Gujarat.

Nitin Patel, the number two in the state's cabinet, and Gujarat party chief Vijay Rupani, who is also a minister, are seen as the front-runners to succeed Anandiben Patel.

Rupani, meanwhile, reiterated that a meeting of the party's legislators would meet on Friday at "Kamalam", the state BJP quarters, to decide on the next chief minister.

Anandiben Patel tendered her resignation to Governor OP Kohli on Wednesday evening, hours after it was accepted by the BJP's parliamentary board. She had come under widespread criticism following the Patidar agitation for job quotas.

The meeting was held at Shrikamalam, state headquarters of the ruling BJP. Vijay Rupani, who belongs to the Jain community, became an MLA for the first time only after Modi became the prime minister and Vajubhai Vala from Rajkot was made the Karnataka governor.

In the meantime, Health Minister and a leader for the pined for post-Nitin Patel has said that whoever will be picked at Friday's meeting, he alongside all MLAs will bolster him wholeheartedly.

Her government was criticised for its handling of the outrage created by the public flogging of four Dalit men by self-styled cow protection groups.

  • Jon Douglas