Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani resigns

New Delhi, Sep 11 (PTI): The reset button that the BJP has pressed on governance in the wake of the COVID-19 wave, which also saw a major overhaul by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his own Cabinet, continues as Vijay Rupani on Saturday became the fourth chief minister to go as the party works to refurbish its governance model.
The party’s decision to drop Rupani as Gujarat’s Chief Minister, after easing out two chief ministers in Uttarakhand and one in Karnataka in the last few months, contrasts starkly with its decision to remain unyielding in backing its chief ministerial picks during Modi’s first term despite trenchant voices against some of them. Political watchers believe the changes highlight the BJP leadership’s analysis of the ground feedback and its readiness to address them, even though a final word on the shake-up can only be delivered at the elections.
Rupani (65) resigned on Saturday amid question marks over his credentials as an administrator.
While the party did not immediately announce Rupani’s replacement, the recent spate of changes effected by the party at the central government or in states ruled by it has marked a return of more conventional politics with the standard political fault-lines of caste identity pushing the urge to experiment to the background. The enhanced share of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at 27 and dalits at 12 in the Union Council of Ministers following its expansion in July was showcased as a major highlight.
The saffron party also replaced Lingayat stalwart B S Yediyurappa as Karnataka CM with another Lingayat leader B S Bommai.
In Uttarakhand, it replaced two Thakur chief ministers with another Thakur leader, and speculation was rife that Rupani, who comes from a numerically insignificant Jain community, may make way for a Patidar, the largest community in the western state.
In keeping with its practice of brooding younger leaders at key positions since Modi became its preeminent leader, the BJP has vested a much fresher generation of leaders with power at the Centre as well as states.

Speculation over Patel, Mandaviya as next CM

Ahmedabad: Names of Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel, state agriculture minister R C Faldu and Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya are doing the rounds amid speculation over who will succeed Vijay Rupani as Gujarat chief minister. “Names of Patel, Faldu, Rupala and Mandaviya are being discussed. But it is impossible to say who will be the chief minister as the decision will be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a party leader said. When Anandiben Patel resigned as chief minister in August 2016, there was talk that Patel would succeed her, but in a last-minute decision, Rupani was chosen for the top post.
The demand to make Nitin Patel chief minister began to trend on social media after Rupani’s resignation. Union health minister Mandaviya, who like Patel belongs to the influential Patidar community, is also considered a front-runner. Leaders of the community had demanded recently that the next chief minister should be a Patidar.
State BJP president C R Paatil, who originally hails from Maharashtra, is unlikely to be considered for the CM’s post, sources said.

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