Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his cabinet has submitted resignation today in a sudden development one year ahead of the state assembly elections. A change of guard to face the elections in the state is expected soon.
Rupani on Saturday tendered his resignation to Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat at his residence, Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar and told media, "I am resigning from the post of the Chief Minister. I thank PM Modi and the party for giving me an opportunity to work for five years."
"I am just a worker of the organisation and will continue to be so. For the upcoming state Assembly elections, definitely our PM Modi will be the face," Rupani said, when asked who will be the face for the elections, as he and the party earlier had declared that the 2022 elections will be led by him.
"I will accept whatever responsibility the party gives me," said Rupani.
Vijay Rupani took the state's Chief Ministerial position on August 7, 2016, and is representing Rajkot West in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. It is learnt from sources that the party will declare Rupani's replacement by Sunday. Most likely his replacement could be deputy chief minister Nitin Patel.
Reports said search for a new winning horse ahead of the elections is likely to pick Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Health Minister or Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel to take over and steer the home state of PM Narendra Modi to success.
The change of guard echoed a similar strategy seen in Karnataka, where BS Yediyurappa was asked to resign as Chief Minister following resentment against him and his son in the party. Prior to it, a similar strategy was explored in Uttarakhand, where Tirath Singh Rawat had to quit four months after replacing Trivendra Rawat.