Battling in bastion: BJP has few takers for Gujarat chief’s post | india | Hindustan Times
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Battling in bastion: BJP has few takers for Gujarat chief’s post

Shaken by the drubbing in the recent local body polls and poor handling of the Patidar quota stir, the ruling party is looking for a strong leader as the state goes to polls in 2017.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2016 00:23 IST
Hiral Dave
Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel. The state BJP is facing difficulty to find a new chief to take onus ahead of the state assembly polls in 2017.
Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel. The state BJP is facing difficulty to find a new chief to take onus ahead of the state assembly polls in 2017.(PTI File Photo)

Struggling to hold its ground in the post-Narendra Modi era in Gujarat, the state wing of BJP is set to see a change of guard after Makar Sankranti. Ironically, the party, in its bastion, hardly has any people who fit the bill.

Shaken by the drubbing in the recent local body polls and the Patidar quota stir, the ruling party is looking for a strong leader as the state goes to polls in 2017.

But not many veterans seem keen to take charge.

“Pathetic handling of the Patidar agitation and a poor show in the local body elections have signalled the downfall of the BJP. The new party chief will hardly have time to get the momentum back before the 2017 assembly elections,” said a senior leader, adding, “There are hardly any takers for this crown of thorns.”

Senior ministers such as Vijay Rupani and Bupendrasinh Chudasma, both with impressive organisational skills, have shown little interest in replacing Ranchoddas Faldu as the Gujarat BJP chief.

Party general secretary Mansukh Mandaviya and organising secretary Bhikhu Dalsania are also in the race for the top job.

BJP national president Amit Shah, who will be in Ahmedabad for the next three days, is expected to oversee the development. Though his visit has been dubbed as a “social” one, sources say he is likely to hold a series of meetings to finalise the candidate.

Party leaders maintain that the current situation reflects how under a strong leadership of Modi and Shah for over a decade, the second rung in BJP failed to evolve.

“Today, the state BJP does not have a leader who can claim either mass support or a strong hold over the party,” said a senior leader.