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Anandiben Patel Refuses to Contest Gujarat Polls, Cites Age as Reason

Anandiben had replaced Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2014 after BJP’s victory in the general elections.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:October 9, 2017, 4:43 PM IST
Anandiben Patel Refuses to Contest Gujarat Polls, Cites Age as Reason
File photo of Former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel (Getty Images)
Ahmedabad: Anandiben Patel, who was once dropped as Gujarat chief minister on grounds of age, has written to BJP leadership saying she does not want to contest the upcoming state elections - over the same reason.

Patel, 75, wrote in her letter to BJP president Amit Shah that she would like to stay away because of the ‘75-year criterion’ and that she would like to work in the role of a "margadarshak". She urged him to nominate a local BJP worker instead of her in Ghatlodiya, the constituency she has represented since 1998.

"When I resigned as chief minister of Gujarat, I had cited the BJP policy of not holding posts beyond the age of 75. Based on the same principle, I do not intend to contest the 2017 assembly election," Patel wrote.

The Patel leader from Gujarat had replaced Narendra Modi as chief minister following the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, but abruptly made way for current incumbent Vijay Rupani - an Amit Shah confidante – last year.

Age was the factor the party had referred to when they looked for her replacement.

The Patel reservation agitation during Patel's tenure and her handling of the situation was also used by her detractors in the party to seek a mid-term leadership change.

Her decision not to contest polls would hamper BJP’s last minute attempts to woo the core Patidar voters back into the party fold.

Patel has been an MLA for almost twenty years. Interestingly, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy last week suggested in a series of posts that she made the face of the party in the upcoming state election.
| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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