Former Gujarat CM

The first woman chief minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel, has been appointed as governor of Madhya Pradesh. (Anandiben Patel Twitter photo)

NEW DELHI/GANDHINAGAR — Anandiben Patel, Gujarat's first woman chief minister, has been appointed as governor of Madhya Pradesh, an official statement said Jan. 19.

"President Ram Nath Kovind has been pleased to appoint Anandiben Patel, to be the governor of Madhya Pradesh with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office," an official communique from the president's office said.

Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Bharat Pandya described the appointment "as a matter of pride for Gujarat" and said that Patel will be the first woman governor of Madhya Pradesh.

"She is daughter of a farmer, who went on to become the first woman chief minister of Gujarat and now the first woman governor from the state. This indeed is a moment of pride for Gujarat," Pandya tweeted.

The post of Madhya Pradesh governor was vacant and Gujarat Governor O.P. Kohli was assigned to the position until now.

Patel stepped down as chief minister in August 2016 citing her age as the reason. During the 2017 state assembly elections, she refused to contest and it was believed the BJP would assign her a larger role in politics.

She will be the second Gujarat minister from the BJP to be made a governor. Earlier, Vajubhai Vala, a former BJP MLA from Gujarat, was made governor of Karnataka.

Madhya Pradesh will hold state assembly elections this year and the party high command may have had the forthcoming polls in mind when it assigned Patel the role.

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