The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Anandiben Patel as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and said the legislature party meeting will be held on Thursday to decide next chief minister of the state. The BJP also cleared the air on party president Amit Shah being appointed as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat. However, he will attend the meeting of the legislature party meeting. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and party General Secretary Saroj Pandey will also be present at the meeting as central observers.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said that Anandiben Patel would meet Gujarat Governor O.P. Kohli on Wednesday to submit her resignation. "The party has accepted her resignation. She offered to resign as she was nearing 75. She has set an example for lakhs of party workers and became an inspiration for many in the country by doing this," Naidu told reporters after the meeting of party's Parliamentary Board. The meeting, held at 7, Race Course, was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Clearing the air on Amit Shah, Naidu said that the next chief minister would be from the existing party MLAs in Gujarat. "There is no such consultation going on in the party. He (Amit Shah) is party's national president and under his leadership the party has reached great heights. The party needs his leadership. The chief minister will be from the existing legislators," said Naidu.
He, however, said that Shah would be present in the meeting of legislature party to be held in Gujarat on Thursday to decide the next chief minister. "He will chair the meeting of state legislature party and hold consultation with the stakeholders to decide on the next chief minister of Gujarat," Naidu said.
Naidu also said that the party appreciated the "satisfactory" work done by Anandiben Patel as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. "She has been a minister in Gujarat government for 18 years. She headed the government as chief minister in satisfactory manner. The party appreciates the good work done by her for the development of the state", he added. Patel, the first woman chief minister of Gujarat offered to quit keeping in mind the BJP's tradition of leaders vacating their post as they turn 75.