After Modi who?
Party sources said ministers in Modi government Anandiben Patel and Bhikhubhai Dalsania have emerged as strong contenders for the chief minister’s post. The other leaders vying for the position are RC Faldu, Surendra Patel, Vajubhai Vala, Saurabh Patel and Parshottam Rupala. Sources said the Tuesday meeting was simply to get a feeler about the opinion party leaders have.'
Modi, sources said, has already sent a panel of names to the party’s central leadership and the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for consideration. The official announcement is expected to be made soon after lok Sabha poll results are announced on 16 May.
Considering her seniority and because she is a woman, Anandiben Patel has emerged as the strongest contender for the post. She also enjoys the confidence of Narendra Modi. The swearing-in ceremony in Gandhi Nagar could precede the one in New Delhi.
If her name gets the nod, she will be the first woman chief minister of Gujarat. Currently, Anandiben, who is a cabinet minister since 1998, is holding the portfolios of urban development, disaster management, road, buildings and revenue. Speaking to Millennium Post over telephone, a senior official in the Gujarat administration claimed that Anandiben’s chances were high and that she chaired important meetings of the state administration in absence of Modi.
Next in the line is Bhikhu Dalsania. His name is also doing the rounds in Gujarat as Modi’s successor because of his proximity with the RSS chief. He is the organisational secretary of the party in Gujarat. Amit Shah, a close aide of Modi, is not in the fray as he is expected to be part of the central cabinet.
Modi over the past two days has had meetings with Bhagwat and BJP president Rajnath Singh and discussed the post poll-result strategy on alliances. Who should be the next chief minister of Gujarat was also discussed in the meeting.