Will Vijay Rupani be the chief ministerial candidate in Gujarat or will the BJP spring a surprise? There is talk within the BJP that the party may announce Nitin Patel as the CM candidate taking into consideration the caste equations.
If this name is announced then he may be an ideal candidate to lure the Patel votes. So far that response for the BJP in the Patel dominated areas during the campaign has been lukewarm.
Sources indicate that Nitin Patel who is the deputy chief minister of Gujarat is the front-runner for the post of CM. The BJP had a slightly changed strategy in the previous elections. In the elections that were held in Goa, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana the BJP had not announced a chief ministerial candidate.
In Goa, the BJP did not get a majority. In a post-election analysis that was conducted, the party found that had it announced Manohar Parrikar's name it would have got a majority.
The party then decided to change its strategy in the Himachal Pradesh elections. In the run-up, it announced that Prem Kumar Dhumal will its CM candidate. A similar strategy is likely to be applied in Gujarat and for now, Nitin Patel is the front-runner.