Anandiben set to become Madhya Pradesh governor

Anandiben set to become Madhya Pradesh governor

Anandiben set to become Madhya Pradesh governor

Former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel is set to become the governor of Madhya Pradesh.

She will replace Om Prakash Kohli who is holding the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh. Kohli is the governor of Gujarat.

A formal announcement about her appointment is expected in a day or two.

Anandiben refused to comment. "I have no idea about anything as yet. Please forgive me," she said when cornered by mediapersons at a function on Friday evening.

Anandiben's name for the governor's post had been doing the rounds after the Gujarat Assembly polls got over last month. She had opted out of the polls.

Born on November 21, 1941, Anandiben has been a BJP member since 1987. She joined Modi's cabinet in the state as minister for education from 2002 to 2007 and later as minister of road and building, revenue, urban development and urban housing, disaster management and capital projects from 2007 to 2014.

Anandiben was appointed the first woman chief minister of Gujarat in 2014 after Narendra Modi became the prime minister, following BJP's victory in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. She had pipped her direct political opponent Amit Shah at the post, but had to quit in 2016, after facing tremendous headwind from within the party. She was asked to make way for Vijay Rupani, after her government was found wanting in tackling the Patidar reservation agitation and Dalit protests.

She later refused to contest and generally stayed away from active campaigning during the 2017 Assembly elections.

With her being sent into political oblivion as governor, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani could breathe a bit easy as Anandiben loyalists would find it difficult to make their voice heard in state party and government affairs. This also hints at Amit Shah tightening his grip over the state.