In a letter that has come as a big surprise and shock to the political establishment, former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has indicated her desire to quit. She is a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader. Citing the party policy of no leader above 75 years of age holding any post, former BJP chief minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel has written to BJP chief Amit Shah that she has no intention of contesting in upcoming state assembly elections. Further, in her letter, she has urged Shah to give her an opportunity to do ‘active’ work for her constituency, Ghatlodia. Gujarat BJP President Jitu Vaghani has confirmed that Anandiben has written such a letter to Amit Shah, as per an Indian Express report. In the report, he was quoted as saying, “Such matters are being handled by party high command and parliamentary board. So, they will take an appropriate decision on the same.” The letter which was sent on October 4 became public on Monday.
Despite Amit Shah denying that there is any party policy of ‘no leader above 75 years in August last year’, Anandiben has cited the same reason twice, the first being her decision to step down from the post of Gujarat Chief Minister. “Earlier when I resigned from the post of Chief Minister, I had mentioned the party policy of no senior leader above 75 year’s age holding a post. Today, based on the same party policy, I do not want to contest assembly elections…I request to give an opportunity to an active party worker from Ghatlodia. It is natural that workers who are toiling hard for the party for years desire to get elected to corporation and panchayat or to get become an MLA or an MP,” Patel said in her letter as per an Indian Express report. She further wrote, “I will perform whatever duties given to me during upcoming elections with utmost sincerity. I will continue to work as a worker of the party forever in my life.”
As per Wikipedia, she was the first woman chief minister of Gujarat and had worked in almost all important ministries including education, revenue, urban development, and women and child development, between 2002 and 2014, under the chief ministership of Narendra Modi.