Health Minister Nitin Patel is the front-runner to succeed Anandiben Patel as Gujarat chief
minister as the state legislature party meets this evening to elect its new leader.
Nitin Patel’s office said his name is final, however, state BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said the name of Anandiben’s successor will be announced after the meeting.
“We do not have any instruction. As per the procedure, the name will be announced in the party MLAs meeting to be held this evening,” Pandya said.
Nitin had expressed his readiness to be the chief minister of the state in 2014 also when Narendra Modi gave up the post after the Lok Sabha polls.
BJP president Amit Shah, who is here to oversee the procedure, has been holding intense deliberations with party leaders to finalise the new chief minister.
Among others, he met state BJP in-charge Dinesh Sharma, national joint general secretary (organisation) V Satish, party treasurer Surendra Patel, education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and former state BJP chief R C Faldu.
Shah had also met Nitin Patel on Thursday. Among other names doing the rounds for the post are that of Union minister Purshottam Rupala and Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava, a tribal leader.
Anandiben, who turns 75 this November, handed over her resignation to Governor O P Kohli on Wednesday.