Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has submitted his resignation to Governor Acharya Devvrat. Rupani was accompanied by four ministers. Even though the real reason behind his resignation is unclear, reports suggest that his alleged differences with the party may have compelled him to step down as the CM.
Also, reports suggest that there was a disconnect between the party and the people of the state due to Rupani's policies. Sources said that the party top brass was also unhappy with the CM for his 'failure' in managing the Covid crisis in the state.
Speaking to the reporters after his resignation, Rupani said that he is ready to take up any responsibility which the party will bestow him with. "I want to thank BJP for giving me this opportunity to serve as Gujarat's CM. During my tenure, I got the opportunity to add to the development of the state under PM Modi's leadership."
“I was given the opportunity to serve the state for five years. I will further do whatever is asked by my party,” Rupani said.
Asked about reasons for his resignation, Rupani said, “In BJP, it is like a relay race for party workers. One gives the baton to the other.”
On who will be the next chief minister, Rupani said that the party will decide about it. He denied that he had any differences with state BJP president C R Paatil.
Elections are scheduled in December 2022 to elect 182 members of the Gujarat Assembly.
Interestingly, the names which are doing the rounds as CM probables are Union Health minister Mansukh Mandhaviya, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala, BJP state in-charge Bhupendra Yadav, National Organization General Secretary BL Santoshand deputy CM Nitin Patel.
Rupani (65) was sworn in as chief minister – his second stint as CM - in December 2017.
The Gujarat CM becomes the fourth serving CM to have left the office in any BJP-ruled state. In July, BS Yediyurappa had also resigned as Karnataka CM and Tirath Singh Rawat stepped down as chief minister of Uttarakhand recently before Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Meanwhile, reacting to Rupani’s resignation, Gujarat president of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Gopal Italia said it is BJP’s “tradition” to change chief ministers and claimed it was the “moral pressure created by AAP” in the state which resulted in Rupani’s resignation.
“It is the tradition of the BJP to change chief ministers. After the earthquake in 2001, then chief minister Keshubhai Patel was changed. Then Anandiben Patel was replaced during Patidar quota agitation which started in 2015. Now Vijay Rupani. The reason behind changing the faces in Gujarat by the BJP leaders is that they are power-hungry, and they don’t want to lose their power in the state,” he said.
Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani took a dim view of Rupani’s tenure, blaming him for the alleged Covid mess in the state.
"People of Gujarat would have appreciated had he resigned for his monumental mismanagement of the Covid crisis," Mevani said.