Anandiben Patel’s resignation as Gujarat CM is due to BJP’s failed Dalit politics

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Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel offered to resign on Monday, a decision seen prompted by mounting pressure over her government’s handling of a string of political protests.

Patel said in a Facebook post that she told the BJP leadership about her plan to step down two months ago. She said the party needed a fresh face before next year’s state elections.

“For the past some time there has been a tradition in the party that those who attain the age of 75, voluntarily retire from the post. I will attain the age of 75 in November,” said Patel.

“It (the age rule) is a good thing and it will give a chance to young leaders to come up.”

Patel, the first chief minister to quit over social media, is likely to be succeeded by transport minister and party state chief Vijay Rupani.

The chief minister has been under pressure since last year’s protests by the Patidars seeking quotas in colleges and jobs, and more recently, over the public beating of four Dalit men by self-styled cow protection groups.

Many accused her government of being out of touch with people’s aspirations, and blamed her leadership for the party’s dwindling support in both rural and urban Gujarat.

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