Former Gujarat chief minister, Anandiben Patel, has refused to contest this year’s assembly elections citing old age. She made her intention abundantly clear in a two-page letter to the BJP President Amit Shah.
Patel, who’s a sitting BJP MLA from Ahmedabad’s Ghatlodia assembly seat, asked Shah to allot the seat to someone else in the party.
She had succeeded Narendra Modi after the latter became India’s prime minister in 2014. However, amidst raging protests from the Patidar community and growing unrest among Dalits in the state, she was sacked by the party leadership to be replaced by Vijay Rupani in August last year.
The saffron party is facing anger at multiple fronts in a state, it has governed for nearly 22 years. Dalits are angry over atrocities committed against them in the last few years, while Patidar, a traditional vote-bank for the BJP, too has been opposing the party since more than a dozen of their members were killed in police firing in 2015.