A day after exit polls predicted a Modi-led NDA government at the Centre, two critical party meetings were held in Gandhinagar on Tuesday, ostensibly to initiate search for a possible successor to Chief Minister Narendra Modi and to chart the course for Gujarat.
The first meeting was of the Gujarat BJP’s core group of executives, including general secretary Om Mathur, which met at the party headquarters at Shree Kamalam. It was chaired by state BJP president R C Faldu and took stock of the current fluid political situation which will be cleared only on May 16. The other was of MLAs at the sachivalaya. This meeting triggered heavy speculation about Modi’s successor from among sitting ministers as well as leaders from the party organisation. However, the MLAs meeting, chaired by Modi later in the evening, is said to have focused more on the successor issue.
However, BJP’s state unit general secretary Vijay Rupani described these meetings as “routine” and said any decision on the next CM will be taken only after May 16, when the results of the Lok Sabha elections are out. “The issue of the next Chief Minister will only be discussed after May 16. That too will be as per our central parliamentary board’s decision,” Rupani said.
Several names, including those of Amit Shah, BJP national general-secretary and Modi’s pointsman in key battleground state of Uttar Pradesh, and senior ministers Anandi Patel, Nitin Patel, Saurabh Patel, besides organising secretary of the state party, Bhiku Dalsania and party leader Purshottam Rupala, are doing the rounds as possible successor to the incumbent CM.