New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentary Board is all set to meet on Wednesday morning to decide upon the next successor of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, according to a News18 report.
As per the report, the Parliamentary Board will announce the name of the next state chief minister after the party meet.
On Monday, Anandiben Patel offered to resign maintaining it was time for a fresh face to take over the state's reins as she would be soon turning 75, understood to be the undeclared age bar in the party for holding a ministerial position.
According to a media report, Patel, who took charge as Gujarat's first woman chief minister on May 22, 2014, could be appointed as the Governor of the state.
Notably, during Patel's over two-year-old tenure, the BJP for the first time in the post-Narendra Modi era in Gujarat has faced multiple challenges including defeat in rural areas in the civic polls, a powerful agitation by Patel community for OBC quota and the ongoing Dalit unrest over the flogging incident after the skinning of a dead cow in Una.
BJP president Amit Shah said the party's Parliamentary Board will decide on the replacement for Patel, who will turn 75 on November 21.
Though top party sources are tight-lipped about the likely replacement for the state's first woman chief minister, Nitin Patel, the number two in the state's cabinet and Gujarat party chief Vijay Rupani are seen as the front- runners.
Nitin Patel enjoys the confidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under whom he had served as a minister in Gujarat, and hails from the influential Patidar community, who has traditionally supported the BJP but have been unhappy with it over the government's handling of their quota stir.
However, some party leaders feel that he lacks a mass base and may not be an ideal replacement for Anandiben Patel, whose lack of political tact was blamed for escalation of Patel and Dalit issues.
Rupani, a confidante of Shah, enjoys support within the party. He, however, belongs to the Jain community, which is numerically insignificant.
Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, a grassroots leader, and Bhikhubhai Dalsaniya, the state party general secretary, are also being seen as contenders for the hot seat.
Speculation has also been rife that Shah, a Gujarat MLA, who was among the contenders to replace Modi as the chief minister in 2014, could replace Anandiben Patel.