After leaving the top post in Gujarat, Vijay Rupani became the fourth leader to resign from the Chief Minister of the BJP-ruled state in the last six months.
Rupani resigned a year before the elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.
This election is a big prestige battle for the BJP as it seeks to stay in power for the third time in a row.
In July, BS Yediyurappa resigned in Karnataka, and Trivendra Rawat was replaced by Tirath Singh Rawat in Uttarakhand just four months later.
In this order, Vijay Rupani has now resigned. BS Yediyurappa resigned after outrage against him and his son. A section of the party’s state unit worked tirelessly to remove him.
In Uttarakhand, the BJP was also forced to replace Trivendra Rawat after similar protests within the party.
His successor Tirath Singh Rawat was not even a practical successor. Tirath Rawat’s brief tenure was full of controversies.
BJP’s Uttarakhand leaders complained to the Delhi leadership of public anger over their announcements, including shocking US remarks.
A similar situation was averted in Uttar Pradesh earlier this year when Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath faced criticism from within the party for his government’s inability to deal with the Covid pandemic.
In UP, the BJP had sent senior leaders BL Santosh and Radha Mohan Singh to review the situation. The party then insisted that Adityanath, one of the BJP’s most high-profile and popular faces, was not being replaced.
Earlier, Rupani’s resignation was quoted by ANI as saying that he had decided to resign “to further develop the state with new energy and vigor”.
He also thanked the Prime Minister for his guidance. “It is well known that the BJP as a party changes according to needs… It is a feature of our party that every worker contributes their full contribution,” Rupani said. And I will continue to work for the party with the same energy.”
Following Rupani’s resignation, the ruling BJP government in Gujarat has come to a stage where there are three options – appointing a successor (and new cabinet), approving presidential rule in the state or holding assembly elections earlier than scheduled.
According to reports, no decision has been taken regarding early elections in Gujarat at present.
Reports say this could be the BJP’s strategy to change leadership.
According to sources, Mansukh Mandaviya and Nitin Patel are likely nominated for the Chief Minister’s post. It also says that the BJP’s central leadership is unhappy with Rupani.
Experts said that no decision had been taken to hold early elections at present. The party’s strategy may be to change the form of the new chief minister.
Experts also said that Mansukh Mandaviya, who was sworn in as the Union Health Minister in July, and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel likely replace Vijay Rupani as the chief minister.
Some reports have indicated that Mandaviya, who hails from Bhavnagar in Gujarat and is a Rajya Sabha MP from the state, has reached Rupani’s residence.
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