'This Resignation...' Jignesh Mevani, a Gujarat MLA, on Vijay Rupani's Stunner

According to insiders, Vijay Rupani resigned after the party's central leadership voiced displeasure with his performance.

'This Resignation...' Jignesh Mevani, a Gujarat MLA, on Vijay Rupani's Stunner
'This Resignation...' Jignesh Mevani, a Gujarat MLA, on Vijay Rupani's Stunner

With less than a year till the state elections, BJP's Vijay Rupani resigned as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state. "I have decided to resign as Chief Minister in order to further develop the state with new energy and power," Mr Rupani told reporters, adding that he will continue to work for the party. 

Jignesh Mevani, an independent MLA, criticised the Chief Minister's tenure, accusing him of being responsible for the purported Covid scandal. Mr Mevani wrote on Twitter, "The people of Gujarat would have appreciated it if Mr. Rupani resigned for his disastrous mismanagement of the Covid situation." 

The state was charged in May with underreporting the Covid deaths. An investigation was launched in July when a video from a well-known Gujarat government-run hospital showed ants crawling over the face of a paralysed Covid patient. The Supreme Court chastised the Vijay Rupani-led government in the same month for issuing a notification to overturn the top court's ruling on fire safety standards in Covid hospitals. 

"This resignation is solely for electoral arithmetic with the 2022 assembly elections in mind," the MLA speculated.

According to insiders, Mr Rupani quit after the party's central leadership voiced displeasure with his performance. According to sources, this is a "course correction" by a BJP keen to shake things up if it is uneasy about its state leadership. The BJP has just changed its chief ministers in Karnataka and Uttarakhand. 

In December 2017, Mr Rupani, 65, was sworn in for a second term in front of Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and more than a dozen other BJP chief ministers. The western state's assembly elections were scheduled for late next year.