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Making Anandiben 'Scapegoat' Won't Save BJP In Gujarat: Rahul


Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has in a tweet this morning described Anandiben Patel as a "scapegoat," blaming "13 years of Modi rule, not 2 years of Anandiben," for what he called "Gujarat burning."

Ms Patel took over headlines on Monday when she announced her resignation on Facebook saying she turns 75 in two months and would like the BJP to follow its principle of promoting younger leaders. Her exit is seen as a fallout of her mismanagement of two major uprisings - the Patel agitation for reservation and the recent Dalit protests - in Gujarat, where assembly elections will held next year.

Anandiben trended for long hours on Twitter, amid much analysis of her decision to quit, two months before her 75th birthday, she said, to give enough time for her successor to organise the state's flagship Vibrant Gujarat summit and lead the party effectively into the 2017 elections. "The Gujarat Chief Minister's resignation is an indication of BJP's sure defeat in 2017 elections," the Congress' senior leader from Gujarat Ahmed Patel had tweeted on Monday.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's assessment in tweets came soon after Anandiben Patel offered to resign. He gloated that Ms Patel quit because of his Aam Aadmi Party's "growing popularity in Gujarat." "AAP's growing popularity in Gujarat is the reason behind Anandiben Patel's resignation. The BJP is afraid of this," Mr Kejriwal tweeted.

He went on to write, "Anandiben Patel's resignation in Gujarat reflects a win for Aam Aadmi Party's fight against corruption". Mr Kejriwal launched his party's campaign in Gujarat earlier this month with lacerating attacks on the Anandiben Patel government over what he called the "downright oppression" of Dalits, after four tannery workers were brutally beaten by self-styled cow protectors.

Mr Kejriwal sees space in Gujarat for his own party with the BJP government struggling and the Congress at its weakest as an opposition in the state it once ruled. The BJP has been in power in Gujarat for 18 years straight now, 13 of those with Narendra Modi as chief minister. In the last assembly election in 2012, the Congress could win only 60 of Gujarat's 182 seats. The BJP had won 116.

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