Congress rules out rethink on Uttarakhand CM

Unfazed by the revolt by Union Minister Harish Rawat, Congress high command today ruled out any re-think over the  issue of Chief Ministership in Uttarakhand declaring that party MP Vijay Bahuguna will take oath as the new Chief Minister today  as scheduled.

Protesting against being overlooked, Rawat sent his resgination from the Union government as Minister of State for Agriculture and Parliamentary Affairs.

Vijay Bahuguna, who was named the chief minister by the Congress President Sonia Gandhi last night, told reporters that he alone would take oath as Chief Minister today.  In three or four days, six more ministers may be inducted after consultations with the party high command, he said.

"Senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Birendera Singh have left for Dehradun as central observers and the swearing in of Bahuguna as Chief Minister is being held as scheduled," AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told PTI.

Dwivedi's assertion came on a day when the supporters of Rawat continued their protests outside his residence against the announcement of Bahuguna as the next Chief Minister of the state.

A sulking Rawat is said to have sent in his resignation as Minister of State for Agriculture and Parliamentary Affairs as he felt that it will be difficult for him to continue in the government when for the second time, his claim has been overruled.

18 MLAs had gathered at the residence of Rawat last night soon after Bahuguna's name was announced. As the protests gathered momentum this morning, Congress MP from Almora Pradip Tamta also joined in the chorus for making Rawat Chief Minister.

Rawat, who was elected to Lok Sabha in 1980 defeating BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi and has been reelected three more times, was ignored for the chief ministership some ten years ago over veteran N D Tewari. He had served a term in Rajya Sabha too.

Tamta said that "injustice" was done to the Union Minister in this matter which had led to great disappointment" among party workers of the state.

However, he ruled out the possibility of any split in the party over the issue, saying that Congress President Sonia Gandhi is their leader. "Nobody will break the party," Tamta told reporters.

"We are only saying that what has happened in this matter is injustice to Rawat. He is the only leader acceptable to all in Uttarakhand and is the party's face."

Asked about Harish Rawat's revolt, Bahuguna said he is a Congressman and the problem is an internal matter  of the party.  He expressed confidence that the high command would resolve the issue through consultations.

He said discussions will be held with the high command on the ministers to be inducted over which allies would also be consulted.

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