M A I N   N E W S

Congress set to form govt in Uttarakhand
SMA Kazmi
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, March 9
The Congress today presented 36 newly elected legislators at the Raj Bhavan here in support of its claim that the party has majority support in the 70-member Assembly.

While 32 legislators produced before Governor Margaret Alva were Congress candidates, three Independent candidates and the solitary winner from the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P) also pledged their support to the Congress. Besides turning up physically at the Raj Bhavan, the four legislators also submitted letters in support of a Congress government. The Governor later told the media that she was convinced that Congress had the numbers to stake claim to form the government. She would formally invite the leader of the Congress Legislature Party to form the government once the new leader is elected.

Harish Chander Durgapal, elected from Lal Kuan, Dinesh Dhanai, elected from Tehri and Manrti Parsad Naithani, elected from Devprayag and Pritam Singh Panwar of UKD (P), elected from Yamunotri were presented before the Governor along with their formal letters of support.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is expected to visit Dehradun on Saturday to ascertain the views of the party legislators on the leadership issue. The final decision, however, will be taken by Party President Sonia Gandhi.

Three of the party MPs are in the race for the top post. Union Minister of state for Agriculture, Food Processing and Parliamentary Affairs, Harish Rawat, is said to be the front runner with Vijay Bahuguna, MP from Tehri Garhwal and Satpal Maharaj, MP from Pauri Garhwal also in the race.

The support

n 3 Independent candidates, UKD (P) pledge support to the Congress.

n The four non-Congress legislators submit letters of support.

n Alva says she is convinced that the Congress has the numbers to stake claim to form the government.

n She would formally invite the CLP leader to form the government once the new leader is elected.





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