Gandhinagar | Jagran Politics Desk: In an unexpected move, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his entire cabinet on Saturday resigned from their position. Rupani's resignation from the top post comes barely 15 months before the assembly elections in Gujarat, a traditional bastion for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Though Rupani resigned from his position, he did not reveal the reason behind his sudden and unexpected move. After submitting his resignation to the Governor, Rupani said that there is a "relay race" in the BJP where "one gives the baton to the other".

"I was allowed to serve the state for five years. I have contributed to the development of the state. I will further do whatever is asked by my party," Rupani was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. "I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving a common worker like me this opportunity to serve the people of the state as chief minister".

According to a report by Dainik Jagran, Rupani resigned from his position because the saffron party feels that it needs a "new face" to win the next year's assembly elections in Gujarat. The report also stated that Rupani will be replaced by a leader belonging to the Patidar community which is the main vote bank of the BJP in Gujarat.

Political observers, as reported by PTI, also believe that Rupani's inability to handle the COVID-19 crisis and his "soft-spoken" nature also played a role in his departure. They believe that Rupani was a "weak Chief Minister" who allowed bureaucrats to overrule the political leadership.

Rupani, meanwhile, is the fourth BJP Chief Minister after BS Yediyurappa, Sarbananda Sonowal, Trivendra Singh Rawat and Tirath Singh Rawat to resign from his position after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was sworn in on August 7, 2016, following the resignation of incumbent Anandiben Patel. He had continued in the office after the saffron party returned to power in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state in 2017. On August 7 this year, Rupani had completed five years in the office.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma