“The party meeting will be held on Wednesday to select a successor of Modi ji in Gujarat,” party general secretary Vijay Rupani said, refusing to comment on Patel’s elevation.
BJP top brass LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, CMs of Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Chhatisgarh and NDA allies Parkash Singh Badal and Uddhav Thackeray will attend the swearing in ceremony at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on Thursday.
A former school principal, Patel’s association with Modi goes back to the early 1980s when Modi was an RSS pracharak. “She is the natural successor to Narendra Modi in Gujarat, as she has always been seen as no 2 in the cabinet after Modi, who has been grooming her for a larger role for several years now,” a senior minister said.
Besides her ministerial responsibilities, Patel is also organisational in charge of BJP in Ahmedabad city and district.
Known to be a tough task master, Patel is loyal to Modi and does not do anything without his knowledge or without consulting him. “Modi is a very unpredictable politician but his choice of successor is totally predictable,” a senior bureaucrat said.