Ahmedabad: Former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, in a letter to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, has stated that she would not like to contest the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections and that a new candidate should be given a chance in her place.
Patel, 75, said that her decision to step down as chief minister in 2016 was in line with the BJP’s policy that politicians above 75 years of age should not hold any administrative post.
“Today my decision to not contest the 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls has also been taken for the same reason," Patel said in a letter dated 4 October.
Patel, who has been with BJP for over three decades now, said she is willing to take up any responsibility that the party would offer her for the forthcoming elections.
She thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi who she said had constantly guided her right from the time she joined the party till her tenure as chief minister of Gujarat.
Patel joined the BJP in 1987 and was sent to the Rajya Sabha in 1994 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the organising secretary of the Gujarat BJP. She is known to be a close aide of Modi, who named her as his successor as Gujarat chief minister after he was chosen as prime minister in 2014.