Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel tendered his resignation along with his entire cabinet on Friday to pave the way for formation of a new government in the state after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a landslide victory in the just concluded Assembly elections.
A meeting of the newly-elected BJP MLAs will be held on Saturday morning to pick a new leader, who will eventually become the next chief minister, and Patel appears set to return for a second term in office.
Senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, B S Yediyurappa and Arjun Munda will be observers for the legislative party meeting in Gandhinagar.
The party has already announced that the swearing-in ceremony of the new government will take place on December 12, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah will be present along with chief ministers of BJP-ruled states.
The BJP registered a historic victory in Gujarat by clinching 156 seats in the 182-member House on Thursday, much higher than its tally of 99 seats in 2017.
Patel, accompanied by Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil and party's chief whip Pankaj Desai, handed over his resignation to Governor Acharya Devvrat at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar.
This was just a formality as the party has already announced that Patel (60), who won a second straight term from the Ghatlodia Assembly seat in Ahmedabad district by 1.92 lakh votes, will remain chief minister.
On Thursday, the state BJP president had reiterated that Patel would continue to occupy the top post and his swearing-in ceremony would be held on December 12.
“The Governor has accepted the resignation of the chief minister and his cabinet. Till the formation of a new government, Patel will remain the caretaker chief minister,” Desai told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan.
In a letter, Paatil informed the Governor that the BJP has called a legislative party meeting of the newly-elected MLAs on Saturday morning to elect a new leader, who will eventually become the next chief minister.
“The meeting of MLAs will be held at 10 am on Saturday at the party headquarters 'Kamalam' in Gandhinagar. The Governor will be informed about the election of a new leader in the afternoon, for which we have sought time from him. The swearing-in of the new chief minister and his cabinet will take place as per the Governor's instructions,” Desai said.
Paatil had earlier announced the swearing-in ceremony of the new government will take place on Monday at the Helipad Ground in Gandhinagar.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Yediyurappa and Munda were appointed as central observers for the meeting of the party's new MLAs scheduled in Gandhinagar.