The BJP has appointed Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Pralhad Joshi as the central observers for the BJP Gujarat legislative party meeting to elect a new chief minister of the state. Sources said that the BJP’s Gujarat legislative party meeting will be held later in the day. Vijay Rupani tendered his resignation from the post of chief minister on Saturday.
“Tomar and Joshi will be reaching the state capital to oversee the election of new chief ministers in the legislative party meeting scheduled at 3 p.m.
“Union Minister and state unit in-charge Bhupender Yadav and national general secretary (organization) B.L. Santhosh are already in Gujarat. They (Yadav and Santhosh) will also be present in the legislative party meeting. All the BJP MLAs will attend the meeting along with central observers and central leaders,” a party leader said.
The names of several leaders are doing rounds for the next chief minister of Gujarat. Some of the prominent names include Praful Patel, Gordhan Zadaphia, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala, and state BJP chief C.R. Patil.
Praful Patel, the administrator of Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Daman and Diu, is close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Zadaphia, a Patidar, was the state home minister in the Modi government in Gujarat in 2002. Mandaviya’s name, who is also a Patidar, has been cropping up for the post for the last year. C.R. Patil is also considered to be close to Prime Minister Modi.
Rupani took the state’s Chief Ministerial position on August 7, 2016, and represents Rajkot (West) in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. The saffron party held a nine-day statewide event in Gujarat, just last month celebrating five years of Rupani in office.
Rupani was under criticism for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic situation. As the BJP is gearing up for the Assembly polls due in December 2022, the influential Patidars had demanded that the next chief minister should be a leader from their community.