There is a lot of speculation that is rife ahead of a crucial meeting of the BJP to select the next Chief Minister of Gujarat. With Rupani submitting his resignation, there are many front-runners in the race.
While many in the BJP maintain that Rupani may well become the CM again, the name of Mansukh Mandaviya is doing the rounds. He is a union minister and Rajya Sabha member whose term ends in April 2018.
The 45 year old leader is from the Leuva Patel community. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made several references about Mandaviya in his speeches. He has a very good understanding of the farmer problems and in his appointment, the BJP hopes to gain in the agrarian belts. In the recently concluded elections, the BJP lost heavily in this belt and if the course correction would need to be done then Mandaviya is the man, many in the party feel.
The BJP refers to him as a simple man. He would ride the cycle to reach the Rajya Sabha. His family members still use state transport buses to commute in Gujarat.
The other names which are doing the rounds are that of Nitin Patel and Parshottam Rupala. Both are from the Patidar community. The other name doing the round is that of Karnataka Governor, Vajubhai Vala. A meeting of the Gujarat BJP legislators with observers, Arun Jaitley and Saroj Pandey to be held today would decide on who the next CM of Gujarat would be.