BJP Parliamentary Board today authorised party president Amit Shah to pick the successor to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel after accepting her offer to resign.
Shah will be travelling to Gujarat tomorrow where he will hold consultations with party leaders and attend the legislature party meeting, likely to be held on Friday to elect the new leader.
The meeting of the Parliamentary Board, which was chaired by Shah and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appointed Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey as party’s central observers to hold consultations with the MLAs for electing the new leader, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters.
Ruling out the candidature of Shah, also an MLA, for the chief ministerial position, Naidu said the party needs him to lead it at the national level. He said Patel’s successor will be from among the MLAs.
“Such a question does not arise. He is the party president and going to remain party president. The party needs his leadership at the national level. There is no such discussion at all,” he said when asked about reports that Shah was also in the contention. Shah has taken the party to “great heights” and led it to many successes, he said.
Anandiben Patel had offered to resign on Monday maintaining it was time for a fresh face to take over the state’s reins as she would be soon turning 75, understood to be the undeclared age bar in the party for holding ministerial position.
“The Parliamentary Board gave its approval to Anandiben Patel’s wish to quit,” Naidu said and insisted that the Board did not discuss names of any candidate to replace her.