Ahmedabad: The name of the next Chief Minister of Gujarat to succeed Anandiben Patel would be announced on Friday after the BJP legislative party meeting in this regard.
BJP president Amit Shah, who held intensive deliberations with party leaders to finalise the candidate, will meet the party's MLAs in the presence of the central observers.
BJP's parliamentary board had earlier accepted Anandiben Patel's offer to resign at its meeting in Delhi, paving the way for appointment of a new Chief Minister to lead the party in 2017 Assembly polls.
A meeting of party MLAs and office-bearers has been convened today evening at the BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar where the next CM would be announced.
Apart from Amit Shah, all the party MLAs, office bearers and our observers Nitin Gadkari and Saroj Pandey will remain present at the meeting," said state BJP president Vijay Rupani, who is also the state transport minister.
Shah, who arrived in the morning, has been busy holding meetings with state BJP leaders and ministers at his house.
Among others, he met state BJP in-charge Dinesh Sharma, national joint general secretary (organisation) V Satish, party treasurer Surendra Patel, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and former state BJP chief R C Faldu.
Health Minister Nitin Patel, considered to be the front-runner for the job, was also present during Shah's meeting with Rupani.
When asked by reporters whether he would accept the post of CM, Patel evaded a direct answer but said, "Whoever is chosen by the party, we all will work together."
Dinesh Sharma, who arrived yesterday, engaged in hectic parleys with BJP leaders and ministers. It is believed that he apprised Shah of his observations today.
The names that are doing the rounds for the post are `number two' in the cabinet Nitin Patel, Union Minister Purshottam Rupala and Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava, a tribal leader.
Rupani's name also came up early on, but he indicated yesterday that he was not in the race as he was happy with his current job. After this, Nitin Patel has emerged as a strong contender.