Gandhinagar, May 21 UNI | 2 months ago

Anandiben Patel, powerful Revenue Minister and a close aide of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, will be the next Chief Minister of Gujarat.

The 72-year-old Anandi, who was elected as leader of the Legislature Party at a meeting of the BJP MLAs at Town Hall here, will be the first woman Chief Minister of the state.

The legislature party meeting was attended by Mr Modi, BJP Central Parliamentary Board member Thawar Chand Gehlot, party's state in-charge Om Mathur, who were appointed as Central observers, party president R C Faldu, national general secretary Amit Shah and other senior leaders.

''I have been given an opportunity to serve six crore people of Gujarat and I will work hard to fulfil the expectations of the people and the party leadership,'' Ms Patel said, with tears in her eyes. BJP, she said, has always given opportunity to women. ''Gujarat has touched new heights of development during the last 13 years. The government brought several schemes for welfare of the poor people, women and the youth. ''The journey will continue.'' Ms Patel, a teacher by profession who has also handled education ministry, will be the 15th CM of the state.

' Sabka sath sabka vikas' will be her mantra of governance, Anandi said.

She will take oath as the new CM tomorrow alongwith her Cabinet members.

Anandi lauded Mr Modi, saying that he has a amazing talent to convert hurdles into opportunity.

Her name as new CM was proposed by Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and supported by Finance Minister Nitin Patel and Mr Shah. Mr Shah said the state will move forward on the path of development under the leadership of Anandi Patel.

After 4609 days in the CM's office, Mr Modi said he resigned from the post to take the new responsibility at the Centre. He said he got an opportunity to become the longest serving Chief Minister of the state. Not a single file, Mr Modi said, was pending during his regime as the CM as he used to call meetings of the officials even in the night. The PM-designate said he had to leave Gujarat due to internal party matters from 1995-2001. In Anandi Patel, Mr Modi said, the state has got its first woman CM who is also a gold medallist in MSc and has received a number of awards. ''I have full trust on Anandi Patel's talent,'' he added.

Earlier, Mr Modi, who will be sworn-in as India's 15th Prime Minister on May 26, resigned from the post of Gujarat Chief Minister.

The BJP leader reached the Raj Bhavan here at around 1500 hrs and submitted his resignation to Governor Kamla Beniwal.

Mr Modi, a four-time Chief Minister from October 7, 2001, was elected yesterday as BJP Parliamentary Party Leader in the historic Central Hall of Parliament.

He led the BJP to a historic win in the 16th Lok Sabha elections where the saffron party bagged 282 out of 543 seats.

(Posted on 22-05-2014)