Breaking News: Facing Dalit heat, Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel resigns

In a sudden move, the Gujarat Chief Minister announced her decision to resign, citing her age. The Patidar agitation and Una incident had taken the sheen off her tenure

Breaking News: Facing Dalit heat, Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel resigns

After days of speculation that the BJP is mulling a change of guard in Gujarat, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has finally resigned as the Chief Minister. She called upon the BJP leadership to "relieve" her from her present responsibilities in keeping with the "party's laudable tradition of leaders who turn 75 vacating their posts". The BJP accepted her resignation immediately.

In a Facebook post in Gujarati on Monday, Patel said: "I turn 75 in November, but I would request the leadership to relieve me now to allow more time to the new incumbent."

Patel said the state government's ambitious biennial Vibrant Gujarat meet this year-end and the crucial state Assembly elections fall next year.

She said the new Chief Minister will thus have adequate time to prepare for these important events.

"I have done everything possible to serve the people of Gujarat. I am grateful towards the BJP for the amount of responsibilities I have been trusted with over time," she said.

Anandiben Patel had been under immense pressure after the government messed up in handling the quota protests by Patidar community, and more recently, protests over the flogging of Dalit youths by cow vigilantes that got the BJP and the RSS worried. The mishandling of these tricky issues had the BJP searching for answers and possibly mulling leadership change to stem the rot. Hence, the Anandiben Patel resignation is not out of the blue.

However, BJP president Amit Shah hailed her tenure as the Chief Minister and said she had led Gujarat to the path of development.