The newly-elected MLAs of the BJP will on Friday choose the next chief minister of Gujarat in the presence of presence Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and party general secretary Saroj Pandey.

The BJP legislature party will be held at party headquarters ‘Kamalam’ in Gandhinagar at around 3.30 pm.

According to party sources, Union Minister Mansukh Mandavia is the front runner for the post and hailing from the Patidar community, his selection will help pacify the community in the state.

However, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who along with his council of ministers resigned on Thursday is also in the race.

Rupani, who has been asked to continue as caretaker chief minister till a new government is sworn in, is the preferred choice of BJP chief Amit Shah.

Shah had said during the campaign that the party was fighting the election under Rupani and Nitin Patel.

In the recently concluded polls, BJP retained power by winning 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, while the Congress bagged 77. Six seats were won by others

Earlier, Rupani had said the party’s parliamentary board will take the final decision.

The new CM is likely to be sworn-in on December 25 as it is the birthday of former prime minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee.