Although party leaders denied that the issue had any connection with the Gujarat polls, privately it was said that it was meant to give a signal to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that he should not see himself as a future BJP prime minister. Source
If the timing is not confounding, the reasons certainly are. One would have thought that this is to project a BJP MP from Gujarat as the future Prime Minister, and that too one who admires Mr Modi. But the quote above indicates something else- that Narendra Modi has ambitions to become the Prime Minister of India.
And not just that- it raises another question about the purpose of the elections. Is it that the Gujarat elections are going to determine who the next CM of Gujarat is going to be or is it to short list the prime ministerial candidates in the BJP?