With Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi poised to become the Prime Minister, Gujarat Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel is the front runner for Chief Minister.
Ms. Patel is a close aide of Mr. Modi. A key player in Mr. Modi’s inner circle, she looked after the affairs of the State in his absence during the elections.
“It is up to the BJP to decide who will take over as CM. I have been working in the party for 30 years,” Ms. Patel told The Hindu .
She congratulated Mr. Modi on the BJP’s stupendous victory. “Where there is Mr. Modi, there is development. A Gujarat brother is going to become the PM. BJP workers put in their best efforts. Mr. Modi’s name was a winning factor and his brand of development was popular. People also wanted a Congress-free country. Now you have a Congress-free Gujarat, Rajasthan and India.”
The indications of a comprehensive Modi wave were clear early on, she said. “Everywhere we went, in the villages, people said they would vote for Mr. Modi.”
Ms. Patel is however, known to share a shaky relationship with key Modi aide, Amit Shah. But the BJP is envisaging a national role for Mr. Shah.
Finance Minister Nitin Patel is also in the running for the State’s top post. He recently issued a statement expressing his willingness to become the Chief Minister if the party offered him the responsibility.
For the first time in 12 years, Gujarat is set to witness a leadership change. Mr. Modi, whose name has become synonymous with Gujarat, became Chief Minister in October 2001 and has had an unbroken tenure.