In an unexpected move, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday submitted his resignation to governor Acharya Devvrat.
Rupani (65) was sworn in as chief minister his second stint as CM - in December 2017. I have resigned as chief minister of Gujarat, Rupani told reporters after meeting Governor Acharya Devvrat and submitting his resignation letter.
He said his resignation is in accordance with the "BJP's tradition" of providing all party workers with an equal opportunity, "I am ready to serve in whichever the role the party assigns to me."
Rupani said he is committed to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Elections are scheduled in December 2022 to elect 182 members of the Gujarat Assembly.
Asked about reasons for his resignation, Rupani said, In BJP, it is like a relay race for party workers. One gives the baton to the other. On who will be the next chief minister, Rupani said that the party will decide about it.
He denied that he had any differences with state BJP president C R Paatil. Rupani comes from the Jain community which has around two percent population in the state. There is speculation that his successor may be from the Patidar community.
This is the fourth chief minister that the BJP has dropped this year across three states, after the change of guard in Uttarakhand and Karnataka.
Rupani was serving as chief minister of Gujarat since August 2016 and he is supposed to end his term of office next year. He is a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly and represents the Rajkot West legislative assembly constituency.
First Published: IST