If Narendra Modi moves to Delhi, Anandiben Patel to be new Gujarat CM?

After months long hectic poll campaign and electoral strategy meetings with senior party leaders and RSS top brass, BJP`s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi on Tuesday met his party MLAs in Gandhinagar.

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

Gandhinagar: After months long hectic poll campaign and electoral strategy meetings with senior party leaders and RSS top brass, BJP`s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi on Tuesday met his party MLAs in Gandhinagar.

Among other issues, today`s meeting focussed on deciding the name of the person who is most likely to be the next Chief Minister of Gujarat if Modi moves to Delhi after becoming prime minister in the event of BJP coming to power at the Centre.

Today`s meeting also gained significance as it came a day after almost all exit polls predicted that the BJP led National Democratic Alliance will achieve its best ever tally in the elections while the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) will register its worst ever performance.

Modi had recently met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and BJP president Rajnath Singh and discussed the seat projections and exit poll data that have been supplied to party by all major external survey agencies and party’s internal mechanism.

Insiders claim that Modi had also sought guidance from the top brass on his future role in the event of three likely situations - clear majority, near majority or no majority to NDA. In any eventuality, Modi has been told to shift his base to Delhi to play a national role, the name of next Gujarat Chief Minister, it is understood has also been discussed and finalized in meetings in Delhi.
Modi has been Chief Minister of Gujarat since 2001. He has been the BJP`s main face in Gujarat. Before going to Delhi to play a big role at the Centre, he needs to deliver his message to Gujarat MLAs on future scenario. The BJP leader is likely to assure his fullest cooperation and support to Gujarat MLAs and ask them to take care of his state in the same manner as he did. Modi is also likely to thank his team for their support and make a point that individual person is not important but mission is.

Today`s meeting was called in assembly complex and all BJP MLAs were invited to attend it.

According to sources, the name of Anandiben has been finalised for the post of state`s new chief minister as considering her seniority in state Cabinet and vast experience in administration. She has handled crucial ministries such as those of education, revenue and women and child development. Also, the BJP wants to take advantage of the opportunity to appoint the state`s first woman chief minister.
Others who were in the race included Nitinbhai Patel, Saurabh Patel, RC Faldu, Surendra Patel, Parshottam Rupala, Vajubhai Vala and Bhikhubhai Dalsania.

The name of senior BJP leader Bhikhu Dalsania was also doing the rounds, because of his perceived closeness to the RSS. Importantly, Modi`s close confidante Amit Shah was not in CM`s race as he is expected to be part of the central cabinet.

Bureaucrats closely watching the developments in Gujarat had earlier indicated that Anandiben is poised to become the next chief minister after Modi. They said Anandiben has already assumed a bigger role and has been chairing important meetings on state administration in Modi’s absence.

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