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Will Anandiben Patel be removed as the CM of Gujarat?

NEW DELHI: Anandiben Patel might soon lose her post as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, according to a report in NDTV. She will reportedly be appointed as the Governor of a state.

According to the report, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah are figuring out a strategy to hold on to their votebank ahead of the state assembly elections in Gujarat scheduled for next year. They are worried that the almost year-long Patel agitation may have severely depleted BJP’s core votebank and the party maybe ousted from power next year. The BJP has been in power in the state since 1998.

Anandiben was made the Chief Minister of Gujarat after Modi took over as Prime Minister of the country. She was hand-picked by PM Modi to replace him.

Anandiben will turn 75 at the end of this year and BJP sees this as an opportunity to remove her from her post as PM Modi has a rule of fixed age limit for ministers and chief ministers.

NDTV also added that PM Modi’s confidante Om Mathur has submitted a report to the prime minister regarding the current political situation in Gujarat. The report allegedly holds Anandiben at fault for the mishandling the Patel agitation, and calls for the infighting in the state to be stopped soon.

Anandiben has reportedly cancelled all of her scheduled programmes over the next three days. This decision has only added fuel to the rumours of her stepping down.

Amit Shah too has been visiting Gujarat more often, and over the weekend the BJP Chief was in Ahmedabad.

Who the successors will be?
Likely contender for the replacement in Nitin Patel who hold the Health, Medical Education, Family Welfare, Road and Building, Capital Project Minister currently in the state govt. State Party President Vijay Rupani, National Vice-President, National Vice President Purshotam Rupala and Senior Party general secretary Bhikhu Dalsaniya are also in the race.

Anandiben Patel met with PM Modi on Monday in Delhi to discuss the drought situation in the state. Despite two successive years of deficient rainfall, Gujarat has recorded 95% crop production because of the measures taken by the state government, the review said.

Poor performance by BJP in municipal polls last year
In the last year’s municipal elections, the BJP suffered a huge setback in the rural areas. The BJP, however, was still ahead in all the six municipal corporations that went to polls, including Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Vadodara. All the municipal corporations were earlier held by BJP.

The Congress surged ahead in nine district panchayats of Gujarat while the BJP was leading in four out of the total 31 district panchayats that went to polls.

In the last election, the Congress had only won the Tapi district panchayat. In the Zilla Panchayat held in 2015, BJP lost to Congress (BJP-8, Congress 23). In 2015, Taluk Panchayat elections too BJP lost to Congress, with 77 seats, while Congress won 151.

Anandiben Patel’s daughter in land row
Another controversy that may have dented the BJP’s image in the state was the land row in which Anandiben Patel’s daughter was reportedly involved.

A company owned by Anar Patel, Anandiben’s daughter, reportedly owns 400 acres of land in Amreli- 250 of which was allotted to the company at an official rate of Rs 15 per square metre. The transaction between Anar’s company and Gujarat govt dates back to 2010-2011, when Anandiben was the Revenue Minister and Narendra Modi was the CM of Gujarat.