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Congress defends decision to appoint Bahuguna as U'khand CM

New Delhi/Dehradun, Tue, 13 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi/Dehradun, Mar 13 (ANI): Congress Party on Tuesday defended its decision to appoint Vijay Bahuguna as the chief minister of Uttarakhand, saying senior leader Harish Rawat should put aside his personal aspirations.


Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said Rawat has been a long and trusted member of the party, and added that he should leave aside his personal ambitions for the party's larger interests.


"Mr. Harish Rawat has been a longstanding and leader of the Congress Party. He has worked his way up from the student organisation of the party to where he is today and at times when you have expectation there is certain sense of disappointment," said Tiwari.


"But then I think leadership demands that personal feelings need to be surmounted," he added.


The mutiny in Uttarakhand Congress, however, was quite visible today, as only 10 out of the 32 MLAs attend the swearing-in ceremony of Bahuguna.


Bahuguna, 65, 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 of office to Vijay Bahuguna, son of late Congress leader Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, at the function.


Harish Rawat, who was seen as a frontrunner for the Uttarakhand chief minister's post, had earlier offered to resign from the cabinet following Bahuguna's selection for the top post.


According to reports, Rawat sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He had also written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, saying that he would prefer to work as a party worker.


In the 70-member Assembly, Congress had emerged as the largest party with 32 MLAs and has the support of three independent MLAs and one from UKD. The Bahujan Samaj Party, having strength of three members, has pledged its unconditional support to Congress, raising its tally to 39. (ANI)


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