The search for a new CM has begun in Gujarat and the names doing the rounds are deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, Union health minister Mansukh Madaviya and state BJP chief CR Patil, among others
In a surprising turn of events, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani resigned on Saturday, ahead of the state Assembly polls due next year.
He became the fourth BJP chief minister to have handed his resignation in a span of six months.
With his stepping aside, the race for a new CM face has begun in Gujarat and the names at the forefront include deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, Union health minister Mansukh Madaviya, Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel, state Cabinet minister RC Faldu and Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil, reported News18.
“Names of Patel, Faldu, Rupala and Mandaviya are being discussed. But it is impossible to say who will be the chief minister as the decision will be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a party leader said.
Here’s the list of possible successors:
Nitin Patel is the current Deputy chief minister of Gujarat. On top of that, he holds the charge and responsibility of other portfolios, like the Cabinet Minister of the Finance, Road and Building, Capital Project, Narmada Kalpsar and Health & Family Welfare Department. The demand to make Nitin Patel chief minister began to trend on social media after Rupani’s resignation.
Make Nitin Patel the next Chief Minister. Because he has given his whole life to BJP. #nitinpatelforcm #nextcmgjnitinpatel #nitinpatel@Nitinbhai_Patel @BJP4Gujarat @BJP4India @AmitShah @narendramodi @vijayrupanibjp
— Kishan Patel (@KishanP87882634) September 11, 2021
Mansukh Madaviya, who recently took charge as the Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Chemical Fertilizers, is a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat. Mandaviya, like Patel, belongs to the influential Patidar community. Leaders of the community had demanded recently that the next chief minister should be a Patidar. However, it has to be seen if the BJP leadership would want to make another change in the key health portfolio at the Centre – after giving Mandaviya the job in July, 2021.
Praful Khoda Patel currently serves as the Administrator of Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and Union Territory of Lakshadweep. He was recently in the spotlight for triggering a major political storm by bringing certain draft regulations for the Muslim-dominated Union Territory of Lakshwadeep. Patel was born in Himmatnagar of Sabarkantha district into a family with roots in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as per The Indian Express.
Though the name of state BJP president CR Patil, who originally hails from Maharashtra, is also doing the rounds, he is unlikely to be considered for the CM’s post, sources said. CR Patil is a member of the 17th Lok Sabha of India. He represented the Surat (Lok Sabha constituency) constituency of Gujarat. In 2019, he won the election with a record margin of 689,668 votes. He has played a pivotal role in the development of Surat. He is India’s first Member of Parliament to obtain an ISO certification 9001: 2015 for office. The ISO certificate was issued for his office for quality management system applicable for monitoring and administration of the government services for the constituency.
Ranchhodbhai Chanabhai Faldu is a Member of Legislative Assembly from the Kalavad constituency in Gujarat for its 12th legislative Assembly and Jamnagar South in 14th Assembly. He is a cabinet minister of Agricultural, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Transport field of Gujarat since 2017.
The BJP had replaced Anandiben Patel a year before Assembly polls were due. It has now done the same with Rupani and his successor may lead the party in the December 2022 state elections, the sources said.
Why did Rupani resign?
According to a NDTV report, Rupani resigned after the party’s central leadership expressed dissatisfaction with his performance. Owing to key elections due next year, they have called this a “course correction” by a party eager to change things around if it feels unsure in its state leadership.
According to sources, Rupani resigned after the party’s central leadership expressed dissatisfaction with his performance. Owing to key elections due next year, they have called this a “course correction” by a party eager to change things around if it feels unsure in its state leadership.
Poor handling of COVID-19 crisis?
Although the precise reason behind Rupani’s departure is yet to be ascertained, observers have pointed to factors like the COVID-19 crisis and his image as the CM.
The second wave of the pandemic in Gujarat and the consequent economic as well as social distress may have had a role to play in Rupani’s exit, PTI reported quoting observers.
Some observers also said that Rupani’s soft-spoken nature led to the image of a “weak” chief minister who allowed bureaucrats to overrule the political leadership.
With inputs from PTI