In a major political development, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday tendered his resignation to Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat at his residence, Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar. The BJP leader confirmed that he has resigned from the top post. The resignation, which came over a year before the state goes to polls, took many by surprise. According to reports, the BJP-led government can either appoint a successor in a change of guard, like it recently did in Karnataka, or allow the state to come under Presidentâ€™s Rule, or conduct early Assembly elections.
â€śI have resigned as Chief Minister of Gujarat,â€ť Rupani told reporters after meeting Governor Acharya Devvrat and submitting his resignation letter. â€śI was given the opportunity to serve the state for five years. I will further do whatever is asked by my party,â€ť Rupani said.
"I am just a worker of the organisation and will continue to be so. For the upcoming state Assembly elections, definitely our PM Modi will be the face," Rupani said, when asked who will be the face for the elections, as he and the party earlier had declared that the 2022 elections will be led by him. "I will accept whatever responsibility the party gives me," he added.
Vijay Rupani first took the state's Chief Ministerial position on August 7, 2016, and is representing Rajkot West in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. Sources told IANS that the party will declare Rupani's replacement by Sunday, September 12. His replacement will most likely be Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
The Assembly elections are scheduled in December 2022 to elect 182 members of the Gujarat Assembly. Rupani (65) was sworn in as Chief Minister in December 2017 in his second term. Rupani is the third CM from the BJP to step down in recent times after BS Yediyurappa was succeeded by Basavaraj Bommai in Karnataka while in Uttarakhand, Tirath Singh Rawat was replaced by Pushkar Singh Dhami. According to media reports, the move is a "course correction" by the BJP, which likely feels that there could be some resentment against the state leadership and wants to make some changes.