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Vijay Bahuguna Sworn In As Uttarakhand CM Amid Revolt In Congress

PTI [ Updated 13 Mar 2012, 19:50:04 ]
Vijay Bahuguna Sworn In As Uttarakhand CM Amid Revolt In Congress

Dehradun/New Delhi, Mar 13: Congress MP Vijay Bahuguna was today sworn in as the chief minister of Uttarakhand after the Congress overruled a revolt by another MP Harish Rawat, who is said to have offered to resign from the Union government.

65-year-old Bahuguna, son of late Congress leader Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, was the lone minister to take the oath of office and secrecy at a brief ceremony at the Parade Ground in Dehradun.

Governor Margaret Alva administered the oath at the function which was attended by former chief minister ND Tiwari, central Congress observers Ghulam Nabi Azad, Birender Singh, party MP Satpal Maharaj, PCC chief Yashpal Arya, and Bahuguna's sister Rita Bahuguna Joshi.

Only 11 out of the 32 Congress MLAs were present besides three independent MLAs -- Mantri Prasad Netani, Harish Durgapal and Dinesh Tanhai -- and Uttarakhand Kranti Dal MLA Pritam Singh Panwar.

Prominent Congress leaders Harak Singh Rawat and Indra Hridayesh, who were themselves aspirants for the Chief Minister's post, were conspicuous by their absence as were Harish Rawat's supporters.

The Congress, which won 32 seats in the 70-member Assembly, one more than BJP's 31, has managed to get the support of three independents and an equal number of BSP MLAs and that of UKD(K) MLA.

But the revolt by Rawat, who is said to have a sizable number of supporters among the MLAs, came as a surprise to the party leadership.

Upset over the party decision, Rawat reportedly sent a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi offering to resign. His supporters claimed in the capital that he has resigned but Rawat himself declined to confirm or deny.