Gujarat/Nagpur: Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has submitted her resignation after a week of protests across the state following the assault on four Dalits by a so-called cow vigilante group. Patel sent her resignation to the BJP top brass seeking relief from the top job in the state.
In a letter posted on her Facebook page, Patel, who took charge as Gujarat’s first woman chief minister in May 2014 after then CM Narendra Modi was elected to the Lok Sabha, has said that she had two months earlier sought to resign from the party to give “enough time to the new incumbent to prepare for important events like the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat summit”.
“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 a Facebook post.
“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.
Elections in the state are due in the later part of 2017.
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.
Patel had to faced some upsets as BJP recently fared badly in the rural civic bodies polls in December 2015 and the opposition Congress making gains at the cost of the saffron rival.
She also had to face the fierce Patel community quota agitation, one of the factors which contributed to BJP losing in rural local bodies polls, while retaining urban areas.
Recently, the Dalit uprising after the Una trashing incident had also dented the image of party.