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Union Minister Mansukh Mandavia Quells Speculation about Leadership Change in Gujarat

File photo of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.

File photo of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.

The intervention came after reports in a section of local media claimed about prospects of Mandavia taking over the reins from Chief Minister Vijay Rupani amid the state battling the coronavirus crisis.

Union minister Mansukh Mandavia has taken to Twitter to quell any speculation on a change of leadership in Gujarat.

His intervention came after reports in a section of local media claimed about prospects of Mandavia taking over the reins from Chief Minister Vijay Rupani amid the state battling the coronavirus crisis.

In his tweet in Gujarati on Thursday afternoon, Mandavia clarified there were no plans to replace Rupani.

"The whole world is battling the coronavirus and so is Gujarat under the able leadership of CM Rupani. At this time, spreading rumours about the proposed change of the CM's post, etc, are not in the interest of our people. I urge our citizens not to fall for any such rumours," he said in a tweet in Gujarati.

Gujarat has recorded the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases so far after neighbouring Maharashtra. A majority of the infected patients are from Ahmedabad.

Rupani took over as chief minister after Anandiben Patel demitted office having crossed the age bar of 75 years.

Hailing from Rajkot, Rupani was seen to be close to Union Home Minister Amit Shah. His selection was widely considered as an attempt by the BJP to appoint a caste-neutral candidate at the the helm of government.

Mandaviya, who hails from Bhavnagar in Saurashtra, is from the politically aggressive Patel community and has been a minister in Narendra Modi's council of ministers in both terms.

Rupani's problems amid the extended lockdown have been compounded by migrants taking to the streets across various districts, including Rajkot.

The Gujarat BJP is yet to get a full-time state chief as well after Jitu Vaghani whose term as state president ended almost a year ago and who is still on extension.