Senior leader Nitin Patel is likely to be announced as the next Gujarat Chief Minister by the BJP today. Though a political lightweight, Patel has Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s backing, sources have confirmed to Indian Express.
Anandiben Patel had resigned from the post a few days ago in the wake of growing protests by the Dalit community after the flogging of a family by cow vigilante groups for skinning a cow.
BJP president Amit Shah held marathon meetings yesterday in Ahmedabad to finalise the name of the next CM. Also present at the meetings were other senior Gujarat leaders like Dinesh Sharma and V Satish. Also Read: BJP looks for new CM for Gujarat, Patels flex muscles
Patels are a force to reckon with in Gujarat, especially in the politics of the state. While the state has a total of 33 Patel MLAs in the 182-seat Assembly, 34 of the BJP MPs are also from the community.
With the Patidar movement still simmering the state, the BJP cannot afford to sideline the community. Another factor working in favour of Nitin Patel is that he is from North Gujarat where the Patel agitation is still creating trouble for the ruling dispensation. Plus, he is the most acceptable to all Patel lobbies and has experience in government.