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Uttarakhand: Bahuguna sworn in amidst high drama

Pallavi Ghosh, | http://pallavighcnnibn

Updated: March 13, 2012, 9:32 PM IST
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Uttarakhand: Bahuguna sworn in amidst high drama
With a wafer thin majority in the state, the durability of the new Congress government remains uncertain.

New Delhi: A week after election debacle of the party, the Congress split is wide open in Uttarakhand. In a dramatic turn of events, Congress MP Vijay Bhauguna was finally sworn in as the Chief Minister, but party strongman and Union Minister Harish Rawat and his supporters defied the party leadership and boycotted the ceremony.

With a wafer thin majority in the state, the durability of the new government remains uncertain.

Though the Congress managed to swear in Vijay Bahuguna Joshi as the Chief Minister, it did not happen before several twists and turns.

On Monday night, Congress high command declared Vijay Bahuguna Joshi as the CM for Uttarakhand. By Tuesday morning 9 am, the other CM candidate, Union Minister Harish Rawat sent in his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

"Harish Rawat is a very senior leader of the party. I am sure Rawat wont join the BJP," said Vijay Bahuguna.

However, by the afternoon, Sonia Gandhi called for a meeting of top leaders, including Joshi and Rawat. Post the meeting, a decision was taken to defer the swearing in to buy more time to placate Harish Rawat.

But then in an hour time, Sonia Gandhi, upset by the defiance of Rawat, and seeing him joining hands with his arch rival Harak Singh Rawat, asked for installation of Vijay Bahuguna Joshi as the CM.

Watching all the drama, the BJP, meanwhile, planned its own countermoves.

However, the Congress continued to deny any such move.

"All this is wrong that Rawat is meeting the BJP president," said Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttarakhand.

In the end, Harish Rawat did give in, but not before making his discontent clear.

He said, "I have proved the point that I have MLAs with me. I have proved that I have more than 6 MLA, as was being said by Virender Singh. My fight is within the Congress umbrella."

First Published: March 13, 2012, 9:32 PM IST
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