Gujarat CM Resign: Dawn of new Modi? Or Setback to BJP?

The days of Anandiben Patel in Gujarat weren’t very smooth. The State-wide protests, following the thrashing of a Dalit family by cow protection group, have shaken Gujarat politics. In a recent rally, the Dalit community threatened the BJP Government that they will teach the saffron party a lesson in the elections next year.

However, the circumstances of Anandiben’s resignation are very similar to the situations in 2001 when Keshubhai Patel, then CM of the state, resigned. Similar to Anandiben, Keshubhai faced criticism after BJP lost by-elections and the foundered handling of the 2001 earthquake in the state.   

Also read | Did Anandiben Patel Resign For Lame Reasons?

Till he resigned, Keshubhai was the unquestioned leader of BJP in the state. The party had not many options then, and as fate would have it Narendra Modi, then general secretary, was promoted the new Chief Minister of the state. Similar, to how it is now, Modi came to power when elections were just a year ahead. The next election was held, to the backdrop of the violent communal riots of 2002. Modi gave a thumping victory to the party and established himself its champion in the state. With his mass appeal, he was able to repeat the results twice in the successive elections of 2007 and 2012. Then, as ‘Gujarat Model’ became the standard of development, Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014.

When Keshubhai resigned, it was an opportunity, that Modi seized, and how!   

Now, when Anandiben Patel steps down, the party is again back to that phase. Who will be the new face? And will he be able to handle the heat? Modi had 2002 Riots to help him win the elections. 2016 is nothing like 2002. In the past one year alone, the incumbent party has antagonised two key voter factions. The Paitdar agitation, which brought the Government much shame, has alienated the support of Patils from BJP. The heat of Dalit Protests, and the deaths associated with it, is still rising. State Government has totally mishandled the entire incident.

Modi’s rise to the national level left a political void in Gujarat. It was understood that Anandiben Patel was just a caretaker till the next elections. But under her, the ‘care’ was not enough. Issues are getting out of hands. The Dalit issue has been so blown up that it might also affect elections in Uttar Pradesh. What BJP needs now is a strong leader, who can be another Modi, to make Gujarat ‘great again’, because, frankly, BJP is losing it in Gujarat now. Gujarat being the home state of Modi and Amit Shah, two largest leaders of the party, it also becomes a prestige issue for BJP to manage this efficiently.

So, will we see rise of a new Narendra Modi? Or will Gujarat see a change in Government after a long time and go for the alternatives – AAP or Congress?

Did Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel Resign for a lame reason?

The political landscape of Gujarat was very volatile since Anandiben Patel took charge. In a surprising move, the first woman Chief Minister of the State has offered to resign.

After a week of protests across the state in reaction to the assault of four Dalits by an allegedly ‘cow protection group’, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has submitted her resignation. She sent her resignation to the BJP top brass seeking relief from the top job in the state.

What is even more interesting is that she posted the letter of resignation on Facebook. In the letter she said that she had sought to resign two months earlier from the party to give “enough time to the new incumbent to prepare for important events like the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat summit”.


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“For the last some time there has been a tradition in the party that those who attain the age of 75, voluntarily retires from the post. I will attain the age of 75 in November,” the state’s first woman chief minister, who succeeded Narendra Modi on May 22, 2014, said in the Facebook post.

“It (the rule of 75) is a good thing and it will give a chance to young leaders to come up,” 

“Two months ago I had requested the party to relieve me from the post and today also through this letter, I request the party to relieve me of the post,” Patel said.

“I am asking the party to relieve me two months in advance as the new chief minister will require the time to work, when the state is going to face elections in 2017 and an important event like Vibrant Gujarat Summit to be held in January,” Patel said.

“It (the rule of 75) is a good thing and it will give a chance to young leaders to come up,” she added.

Anandiben Patel made the disclosure in a Facebook post. Elections in the state are due in the later part of 2017.

Also Read | Gujarat CM Resign: Dawn of new Modi? Or Setback to BJP?

The unwritten convention in the party, set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in recent times has been that those attaining the age of 75 have to quit the post.

In 2015, Patel had to face the heat when BJP fared unsatisfactorily in rural civic body polls. Congress, on the other hand did considerably better in the same elections.

The Patidar communities quota agitation and the State subsequently bowing down to them was also backlash for her. Another dent to the image of BJP in the state came with the thrashing of Dalit youth in Una.

Resignation by Anandiben Patel might be an opportunity or a political gimmick. Whatever it is, the story is only unfolding.


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