BJP leader Anandiben Patel, one of the most powerful ministers in the Gujarat cabinet, is likely to succeed Narendra Modi to the post of chief minister.
Sources in the BJP and the Gujarat CMO said a formal announcement to this effect would be made before or immediately after the LS elections results are declared on May 16.
Patel was seen as one of the frontrunners to the post, if the BJP forms the next government with Modi as prime minister. She holds key portfolios such as revenue, road and buildings urban development, and disaster management.
“The CM had discussed it with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and the BJP leadership. It is almost final that she will be the next CM and is likely to be sworn in before May 20,” said a source, adding that Modi had discussed the issue with senior Gujarat ministers too.
A cabinet minister since 1998, Patel is considered Modi’s protégé.”She is a natural successor because she enjoys Modi’s trust,” a top bureaucrat said. “She is the most experienced and senior minister in the state cabinet.”