The decision comes as a major twist as Patel was the front-runner for the post after Rupani had bowed out from the race, saying he would like to work for the party. On Friday, a crucial meeting attended by Amit Shah and Union Transport MinisterNitin Gadkari at the party headquarters in the state, decided on making Rupani the next Chief Minister.BJP’s Central Observer Nitin Gadkari announced after the meeting that the decision was taken by the party MLAs unanimously and through a democratic process. The BJP central leadership had already made it clear that a state MLA would be assigned the job. Anandiben Patel had tendered her resignation to the Governor on Wednesday. Governor O P Kohli has asked her to continue as the care taker chief minster till the alternate arrangement.
Patel, who took charge as Gujarat’s first woman chief minister after Narendra Moditook charge as the Prime Minister, citing age issues had in her Facebook post earlier urged the BJP to relieve her from the coveted post. Patel said that she had two months earlier sought to resign from the party to give “enough time to the new incumbent to prepare for important events like the upcoming ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’. Her government was criticised for its handling of the outrage created by the public flogging of four Dalit men by self-styled cow protection groups.