New Delhi: Capping days of turmoil in the state that have pushed the ruling BJP on the backfoot, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel submitted her resignation to the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership on Monday. Patel, who is Gujarat’s first female chief minister, was hand-picked by Narendra Modi as his successor when left Gandhinagar to become prime minister in may 2014..
Patel announced her decision in a Facebook post.
“I had sought to be relieved two months ago…It is better to step down as I will turn 75 in November. New leadership should look at Vibrant Gujarat Summit and Assembly polls in 2017,” India Today quoted her as saying.
“I have been working actively with the BJP for last 30 years and I have got the opportunity to manage several responsibilities the party entrusted on me. I am fortunate to have been offered prime positions and major responsibilities by the party.”
“I consider it a privilege to manage the women’s wing of the party to eventually becoming the chief minister. The party has helped in my development. I have tried my best for result oriented governance and constantly contributed to innovations while working in various departments of the state. Will always be indebted for Narendra Modiji and the party leadership for giving me all the important responsibilities that I was given,” she said.
Gujarat has seen a tense two weeks, with large scale Dalit protests after an incident in Una where a Dalit family was publicly beaten with iron rods by alleged ‘gau rakshaks‘. More than 20 Dalits have attempted suicide to protest the incident, one of whom died yesterday. A rally in Ahmedabad on Sunday saw more than 12,000 Dalits gather to express their anger and discontent against the BJP government.
Anandiben’s resignation is seen as a victory for Amit Shah, who had made no bones to hide his unhappiness at her handling of the state.