M A I N   N E W S

Cong battle on in Uttarakhand
Party undecided on placating Rawat

Rawat’s take

Harish Rawat (in pic) is learnt to have demanded certain senior positions 
such as the post of Deputy Chief Minister, state party chief and major portfolios 
for his supporters

He enjoys the support of 14 party legislators and can prove a threat to the government

Dehradun, March 17
The stalemate continued in the Uttarakhand Congress as warring party factions failed to reach a much-awaited solution today. The crisis that has hit the Uttarakhand Congress following the appointment of Vijay Bahuguna as the Chief Minister seems to have deepened with time running out for the party to put its act together to save it’s government in the state.

While Harish Rawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Food Processing and Parliamentary Affairs, has dug in his heels along with 14 party legislators to get his demands met, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna in New Delhi expressed confidence that the crisis would be resolved before the crucial Assembly session beginning March 26.

According to reports reaching the state capital, the party high command has not been able to make up its mind to succumb to pressure mounted by Harish Rawat and his supporters. Rawat is trying to seek an appointment with party president Sonia Gandhi but it has not materialised yet.

However, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna met Sonia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the meeting was termed as a courtesy call by Bahuguna after taking over the reins of the state.

But, in a significant development, Indira Hariydesh, a senior party leader from Harish Rawat camp, met Chief Minister Bahuguna in New Delhi today. Senior state party leaders, Satpal Maharaj and state party chief Yashpal Arya, also met the Chief Minister and hoped that the crisis would be resolved. “This crisis is our internal affair and would be resolved soon,” Satpal Maharaj told mediapersons.

According to party sources, Rawat has demanded that certain senior positions like the post of deputy chief minister, state party chief and major portfolios be given to his supporters. But the Congress high command has not yielded to his demands and probably testing his patience.

Amidst talks of Renuka Rawat, wife of Hrish Rawat, being made a Rajya Sabha nominee of the party from Uttarakhand, Rawat denied that there had been any proposal to make his wife as a Rajya Sabha nominee. “It is a conspiracy to defame me and this has been going on against me,” he added.

Meanwhile, Harak Singh Rawat, leader of the opposition in the outgoing assembly and one of the aspirants for the top post, reached Dehradun today but continued his rebellious tempers.

He said he would not become a minister in the Vijay Bahuguna ministry. “I do not care about leaders, I am elected by the people and are accountable to them only,” he said.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |