Vijay Rupani resigns: BJP legislature party likely to meet on Sunday to choose new CM
New Delhi, Sep 11: A meeting of BJP MLAs headed by Home Minister Amit Shah likely to be held on Sunday at Gandhinagar. The new CM is expected to be announced after meeting tomorrow.
Rupani resigned from the post, his sudden announcement coming over a year before the state goes to polls.
It is not clear what prompted the development in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state where elections to the 182-member Assembly are due in December 2022.
Rupani (65), the fifth chief minister to demit office in BJP-ruled states during the coronavirus pandemic, was sworn in as chief minister - his second stint as CM - in December 2017.
BJP's general secretary (organisation) B L Santosh and Gujarat state unit in-charge Bhupender Yadav met party functionaries soon after Rupani announced his resignation.
Sources told PTI, the issue of Rupani's successor will be discussed in the legislature party meeting likely to be held on Sunday.
The names of Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel, state agriculture minister R C Faldu and Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya are doing the rounds amid speculation over who will succeed Rupani as CM, but it is impossible to say who will be the chief minister as the decision will be taken by Modi, a party leader said.
Union health minister Mandaviya, who like Patel belongs to the influential Patidar community, is considered a front-runner for the CM's post.
Rupani is the fifth BJP CM leaving office since the pandemic began.
The saffron party had also replaced Lingayat stalwart B S Yediyurappa as Karnataka CM with another Lingayat leader Basavaraj S Bommai.
In Uttarakhand, it replaced two Thakur chief ministers with another Thakur leader, and speculation was rife that Rupani, who comes from a numerically insignificant Jain community, may make way for a Patidar, the largest community in the western state.
Assam also saw the BJP replacing its chief minister of five years Sarbananda Sonowal with Himanta Biswa Sarma following the assembly elections earlier this year. However, this was considered more a case of the party rewarding Sarma than it taking any dim view of his predecessor, who was later made a Cabinet minister in the Modi government.