BJP to Take a Call on Gu­jarat’s Next CM Only Af­ter May 16

Modi meets party MLAs at state sec­re­tariat

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

OUR PO­LIT­I­CAL BUREAU

BJP will de­cide on the next chief min­is­ter for Gu­jarat only af­ter May 16, or at least, that’s the of­fi­cial line of the saf­fron party. While BJP’s prime min­is­te­rial can­di­date Naren­dra Modi met party MLAs at the state sec­re­tariat on Tues­d­say amid spec­u­la­tion that the party will prob­a­bly fi­nalise the next CM, Gu­jarat BJP spokesper­son Vi­jay Ru­pani told the me­dia that the de­ci­sion will be taken only af­ter May 16, and it will be the party par­lia­men­tary board that will take a fi­nal call on the mat­ter. While the party de­nied that it dis­cussed the CM is­sue on Tues­day, in­sid­ers main­tain that the process has al­ready been set in mo­tion. Most se­nior BJP lead­ers ET spoke with con­firmed that Modi’s trusted lieu­tenant and Gu­jarat rev­enue min­is­ter Anandiben Pa­tel is the front-run­ner for the CM’s post. “Anandiben ap­pears to be the strong­est con­tender for the post right now, but given the kind of as­pi­ra­tional cli­mate, noth­ing seems cer­tain till it is of­fi­cial,” summed up a party worker. Sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian Anandiben is known for her gov­er­nance skills and grip over the bu­reau­cracy and had been a strong ri­val to Modi’s close aide, Amit Shah. It is widely felt that her anoint­ment as the CM of Gu­jarat may not go down too well with Shah, who has been the man be­hind BJP’s stel­lar show in Ut­tar Pradesh. Ob­servers also main­tain that Modi has a pen­chant to pull out last-minute sur­prises. Mean­while, Gu­jarat fi­nance min­is­ter Nitin GU­JARAT REV­ENUE min­is­ter Anandiben Pa­tel front-run­ner for CM’s post Pa­tel too has thrown his hat in the ring, and his name has been do­ing rounds for a while along with an­other trusted Modi aide, in­dus­tries min­is­ter Sau­rabh Pa­tel. How­ever, it is the late en­try of RSS man Bhikhu Dal­sa­nia that has set tongues wag­ging. A pracharak, Dal­sa­nia had made an en­try to BJP from RSS, and rose from the ranks to be­come the party’s or­gan­i­sa­tional sec­re­tary.

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