Gujarat air thick with rumours

Gujarat air thick with rumours

BJP to announce Modi's successor after May 16

Gujarat air thick with rumours

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a routine pre-scheduled meeting with BJP MLAs in Gandhinagar spurring speculation that it was held to discuss who would be the successor if he moves to Delhi after the election results on Friday.

Speculation is rife that the frontrunner for the post would be cabinet minister Anandiben Patel who has been a minister in the BJP government from the time of the Keshubhai Patel regime. She has been one of the senior-most ministers in the Modi cabinet and has held portfolios like education and revenue. The other ministers whose names are doing the rounds for the top post are Nitin Patel and Industries minister Saurabh Patel.

Nitin Patel has expressed his willingness to take up the repsonsibility but at the same time he has said the decision of the party would be final. Speculation about Saurabh Patel has been doing the rounds as all the three have been taking major decisions in the absence of Modi while he was busy campaigning in other parts of the state. Saurabh is also the son-in-law of industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani’s brother.

Predictable names

Party seniors also point out that apart from the predictable names of the Patels, the other name emerging as a dark horse is that of Bhikhubhai Dalsaniya. Dalsaniya has been in the organisation of the party and is also seen as the link between the RSS and the BJP.   Dalsaniya has denied any possibility of him becoming chief minister.

Party spokesperson Vijay Rupani said, “There is a process in the party.” He said once the results were declared on Friday, then the process of  proposing the name for the chief minister’s post would begin which would be later ratified by the party MLAs. Senior leaders in the party, however, said that Modi’s decision would be the final word on who would be his successor, whatever the speculations in the media.