The Bharatiya Janata Party has managed to secure 100 seats in the Gujarat Assembly after an independent MLA from Lunawada seat offered his support to form government. Ratansingh Rathod in a letter to Governor OP Kohli expressed his unconditional support to the BJP.
Another independent MLA from Morva Hadaf is also expected to announce his support to the BJP.
Meanwhile, speculations are rife over the next Chief Minister of Gujarat. A News 18 report suggests that the newly-elected legislators from the BJP will meet on Friday in Gandhinagar to select the new chief minister, in the presence of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and party general secretary Saroj Pandey.
Incumbent Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his Cabinet of ministers resigned on Thursday, a day after Governor Kohli dissolved the government. Rupani, accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and other ministers, visited Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar and handed over their resignation letters to the governor.
Rupani, however, would serve as the caretaker chief minister till the formation of a new government. Addressing the media after submitting his resignation, Nitin Patel refused to assign any timeline for the meeting and formation of the next government.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that mild-mannered Rupani seems to be a front-runner and is likely to retain the job. However, other sources had said the central leadership may also think of changing the chief minister following the narrow win of the BJP, according to PTI.
Besides Rupani, the other names doing the rounds for the top job in the state are those of Nitin Patel and Mansukh Mandavia, a Rayja Sabha member from Gujarat who is a member of the Narendra Modi government.
Mandavia is from the Patidar community.
In the recently concluded polls, BJP retained power by winning 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly while the Congress claimed 77. Six seats went to others, including three Independents.