Ahmedabad: BJP’s central observer for Gujarat and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said the chief minister will be chosen from among the “sitting party MLAs,” according to a report by Gujarati language paper Sandesh. If this will be the yardstick for the selection of the new Gujarat CM, then it rules out Union ministers Mansukh Mandaviya and Purshottam Rupala from the race. Former state minister Govardhan Zadafia, whose name was being discussed, is also ruled out if sitting MLA is chosen as Zadafia is not an MLA. Follow LIVE Updates
On Saturday, the names of Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel, state agriculture minister R C Faldu and Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya were doing the rounds amid speculation over who will succeed Vijay Rupani as Gujarat chief minister.
Rupani resigned as CM on Saturday, over a year ahead of Assembly elections in the state, without assigning any specific reason.
“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.
When Anandiben Patel resigned as chief minister in August 2016, there was talk that Patel would succeed her, but in a last-minute decision, Rupani was chosen for the top post.
The demand to make Nitin Patel chief minister began to trend on social media after Rupani’s resignation.
Union health minister Mandaviya, who like Patel belongs to the influential Patidar community, is also considered a front-runner. Leaders of the community had demanded recently that the next chief minister should be a Patidar.
Mandaviya is also famous for his humanitarian work which includes women healthcare initiatives and for distributing 10 crore sanitary napkins through Jan Aushadhi Kendras for which he was honoured by the UNICEF.
State BJP president C R Paatil, who originally hails from Maharashtra, is unlikely to be considered for the CM’s post, sources said.
However, he landed into controversy during the second Covid-19 wave when he disbursed free Remdesivir injections without having a [Sharma license to do so.
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.