Saturday, Vijay Rupani unexpectedly resigned as Gujarat’s chief minister just weeks before the state’s legislative elections, which will take place later next year in Narendra Modi’s home state.
I will continue to work for the party with the same energy, because it is well-known that the BJP, as a party, keeps changing as per requirements,” he said.
President’s Rule or an early election are the only options left to the ruling BJP after Mr Rupani’s resignation (and his cabinet’s as well).
No decision has been made yet on early elections, according to sources, and a change of guard – a new Chief Minister – is expected to be the strategy.
Santosh and Yadav are both in Ahmedabad to discuss possible replacements.
Mansukh Mandaviya, who was sworn in as the Union Health Minister in July, and Nitin Patel, who was Mr Rupani’s deputy, are two possible replacements, according to sources. Mandaviya and Patel have arrived at the party headquarters in Gandhinagar, according to ANI.
Praful Khoda Patel, the current administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep, is another possibility, according to other sources.
A series of controversial orders issued by Mr Patel in Lakshadweep and on the mainland sparked massive protests in July.
Further, sources said that he quit after the party’s central leadership expressed displeasure with his performance, and that this was part of the party’s desire to make changes in the state’s leadership, especially in light of next year’s crucial elections.
‘If there is resentment against state leadership, deal with it now,’ appears to be the strategy.
Recently, Karnataka and Uttarakhand have seen BJP chief ministers resign, making Mr. Rupani the fourth in the last six months.
B.S. Yediyurappa resigned as Karnataka’s chief minister in July, after the party’s state unit repeatedly demanded his ouster due to resentment against both he and his son. And in Uttarakhand, four months after he replaced Trivendra Rawat, Tirath Singh Rawat also quit.
Opposition leader Hardik Patel declared that “it is now clear that BJP proved to be a complete failure” in response to Mr Rupani’s resignation.
He was sworn in for a second term by Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and more than a dozen other BJP chief ministers in December of last year.
In the 2017 elections, the BJP won 99 of the 182 seats in the state’s legislature, a decrease of 17 from 2012. This is an increase of 16 seats from the last election.