New Delhi: Vijay Rupani resigned as Chief Minister of Gujarat on Saturday in an unexpected turn of events ahead of an Assembly election in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state later next year.
“It is well known the BJP, as a party, keeps changing as per requirements… it is a speciality of our party that every worker delivers to the fullest, and I too will continue to work for the party with the same energy,” he added.
Mr Rupani’s resignation (and, by default, his cabinet’s) leaves the ruling BJP with three options – appoint a successor, allow the state to come under President’s Rule, or have an early election.
Sources have said at this point no decision has been taken on early polls and a change of guard – a new Chief Minister – is likely to be the strategy.
Senior leaders BL Santosh and Bhupendra Yadav are in Ahmedabad to discuss replacements.
Sources have said Mansukh Mandaviya, sworn in as the Union Health Minister in July, and Nitin Patel, who was Mr Rupani’s deputy, are possible replacements. Both Mr Mandaviya and Mr Patel have reached the party office in capital Gandhinagar.
Another possibility, other sources said, is Praful Khoda Patel, who is currently the Administrator for the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Lakshadweep.
Mr Patel was in the headlines in July after a series of controversial orders triggered massive protests in Lakshadweep and the mainland.