Ahmedabad : In a surprise move, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigned on Saturday as Chief Minister of the state leaving questions over who could be his successor.
BJP has convened a meeeting of party legislators to choose next Chief Minister. The state is expected to go to polls in over a year.
After submitting his resignation to the Governor at the Raj Bhavan here, 65-year old Rupani, who represents Rajkot West assembly constituency, told reporters that he had voluntarily resigned.
Rupani also expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the opportunity granted to him to lead the state for five years.
He had taken over as Chief Minister of Gujarat in August 2016 when Anandiben Patel had quit the office in the wake of agitation by Patidar community leader Hardik Patel.
Senior BJP leadership has so far been tight-lipped over the reasons behind the unexpected development as well as over successor of Rupani.
With Vijay Rupani quitting, Gujarat has become the third BJP-ruled state where the incumbent resigned before completing their terms in the office.
Earlier, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa had put in his papers after days of suspense over his continuation in the office.
Barely few months of taking over as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Tirath Singh Rawat had also resigned paving way for a relatively younger party colleage Pushkar Singh Dhami to take the baton.
Rupani’s resignation has surprised many as he is considered close to Home Minister Amit Shah. Moreover, today morning itself, he participated in a programme which was virtually addressed by
the Prime Minister.
With the business appearing to be as usual till noon, not many people had any inkling of Rupani resigning.
Meanwhile, Rupani said he would fulfill whatever responsibility he is entrusted by the party.
Meanwhile, Rupani’s successor has not been announced yet. Some of the names doing the rounds for the top post include Mansukh Mandaviya and Nitin Patel.
Bhupender Yadav, Parshottam Rupala, Mansukh Mandaviya and Nitin Patel were present with Rupani when the resignation was submitted to the Governor.