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Anandiben Patel Refuses to Contest Gujarat Polls, Cites Age as Reason

Ahmedabad: Former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has written to BJP President Amit Shah expressing her desire not to contest the upcoming state assembly polls.

Anandiben had replaced Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2014 after BJP’s victory in the general elections.

The Patel leader from north Gujarat, however, could not complete her current term in the office. Current Chief Minister Vijay Rupani- an Amit Shah confidante – had replaced her last year.

Anandiben, in her letter to the party president, cited the ‘75-year criterion’ to convey her inability to enter the electoral fray.

She has instead urged the BJP leadership to encourage and project young leaders in the party while she takes over the role of a ‘margdarshak’. She has urged the party to nominate a local BJP worker in her place from the constituency she has represented since 1998.

The party had referred to the same age criteria as it set about looking for a replacement for the veteran BJP leader.

The Patel reservation agitation during Anandiben’s tenure and her handling of the situation was also used by her detractors in the party to seek a mid-term leadership change.

Anandiben’s decision not to contest polls also hampers BJP’s last minute attempts to woo back the core Patidar voters back into the party fold.

Anandiben has been an MLA for almost twenty years. Interestingly only last week, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in a series of tweets stirred the Gujarat pot by suggesting that Anandiben be made the face of the party in the upcoming state election

Telugu Politics

Haleem in Hyderabad

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