The core group of Gujarat BJP met here on Tuesday to assess the political situation following conclusion of the nine-phase Lok Sabha polls on Monday, party sources said.
    
The meeting chaired by state BJP chief R C Faldu set off speculations about discussions being held to find Modi's successor after he moves over to Delhi.
    
Another meeting of the BJP legislature party and top state functionaries is scheduled later in the day in Gandhinagar where Modi would also be present.
    
However, BJP's state unit general secretary Vijay Rupani described these meetings as a ‘routine’ exercise and said any decision on the next Chief Minister will be taken only after May 16, when the results of the Lok Sabha elections are out.
    
"The issue of the next Chief Minister will only be discussed after May 16. That too will be as per our central parliamentary board's decision," Rupani said.

Probable contenders for chief ministerial post

Several names including those of BJP national general secretary Amit Shah and senior ministers including Anandiben Patel, Nitin Patel, Saurabh Patel besides organising secretary of the state party Bhiku Dalsania are doing the rounds as possible successor to the incumbent Gujarat Chief Minister.

According to sources, Anandiben Patel, one of the most powerful ministers in the Gujarat Cabinet, can be entrusted with the top job as she is the most experienced and enjoys Modi’s support.
Meanwhile, Nitin Patel and Dalsania openly expressed their willingness to take up the top job.
    
"I am ready to be Chief Minister if the party asks me to take up the job. If you ask this question to any MLA that are you ready to be the chief minister, he will reply in the affirmative. If you ask Virat Kohli would he like to be captain of India, obviously he would not say no,” said Patel.
    
Dalsania on his part said that he was ready to take up the top job if the party decides to give him the responsibility.

Modi, who is serving his fourth term as Gujarat Chief Minister, is contesting his first national election from Varanasi and Vadodara Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat respectively.
The NDA is projected to form the government at the Centre with exit polls giving between 249 and 290 seats to Modi-led alliance, which is close to the half-way mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
The results for 2014 Lok Sabha polls will be declared on May 16.

JPN/Agencies

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