In a surprising political development, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday submitted his resignation to governor Acharya Devvrat. Rupani, who made the announcement while talking to reporters, did not reveal what prompted him to step down.
"I have resigned from the post of Gujarat Chief Minister," said Rupani on Saturday at Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar after meeting Governor.
"I want to thank BJP for giving me this opportunity to serve as Gujarat's CM. During my tenure, I got the opportunity to add to the development of the state under PM Modi's leadership. I have conveyed my wishes to work in party organisation under the leadership of Prime Minister and under the guidance of BJP chief," said Rupani.
"I am just a worker of the organisation and will continue to be so. For the upcoming state Assembly elections, definitely our PM will be the face," Rupani said, when asked who will be the face for the elections.
The unexpected move comes ahead of Assembly elections in PM Modi's home state early next year. Rupani reached the Raj Bhavan shortly after PM Modi inaugurated Sardardham Bhavan in Gujarat's Ahmedabad and performed 'bhoomi pujan' of Sardardham Phase-II Kanya Chhatralaya (girls' hostel) through video conferencing.
Vijay Rupani took the state's Chief Ministerial position on August 7, 2016, and is representing Rajkot West in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.
Rupani is the fourth BJP chief minister to step down in recent months. In July, B S Yediyurappa resigned as CM of Karnataka in July and Uttarakhand witnessed two CMs' exit, where Tirath Singh Rawat quit barely 4 months after replacing Trivendra Rawat.
It is learnt from sources that the party will declare Rupani's replacement by Sunday. Most likely his replacement could be deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, reported IANS.
The 65-year-old leader said that the BJP is an ideology-driven party and the roles of workers keep changing there.
"I have decided to resign because the development journey of Gujarat should continue under Prime Minister Narendra Nodi's guidance and new leadership. BJP is an ideology-driven party and the roles of workers keep changing there," Rupani added.
In the 2017 state election, the BJP won 99 of the state's 182 Assembly seats, Congress got 77 seats.