The backlash of the Dalit protests in the state of Gujarat seems to have hit home, with the chief minister Anandiben Patel offering to resign from her post. This after there were extensive protests in Una over the brutal beating of four Dalit youths’ who were accused of killing and skinning a cow by cow vigilantes or ’gau raskshaks as they are called. On Sunday, Dalit leaders had a huge rally in the state, instructing their community not to dispose dead cattle or clean sewers as a form of protest.
Gujarat’s first woman Chief Minister’s reasons for resigning are stated differently on a Facebook post: “There has been a tradition in the party that those who attain the age of 75, voluntarily retires from the post. I will attain the age of 75 in November,” as reported by The Hindu. “Two months ago I had requested the party to relieve me from the post and today also through this letter, I request the party to relieve me of the post,” Ms. Patel said.
“I am asking the party to relieve me two months in advance as the new Chief Minister will require time to settle down, especially when the State is going to face elections in 2017 and an important event like Vibrant Gujarat Summit is to be held in January.”
Anandiben Patel succeeded Narendra Modi after he took over the Prime Minister’s post in 2014. Even as the official reason for resignation have been kept simple, reportedly, the BJP’s image taking a beating post the Dalit protests have led to her decision. As reported by Indian Express, BJP president Amit Shah said: “Anandiben Patel has offered to resign. I will place her letter before the (BJP) parliamentary board which will take the final decision.” There is little to speculate as to what that final decision will be.
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