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Updated: March 21, 2012 15:52 IST

Bahuguna holds talks with senior Cong leaders

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Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna during a press conference in Dehradun. File photo
PTI Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna during a press conference in Dehradun. File photo

A day after expanding his cabinet, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Wednesday held talks with senior Congress leaders in New Delhi to resolve various issues confronting his government.

“We can only say that Mr. Bahuguna has held talks with some top leaders in New Delhi,” a senior Congress leader here said.

Following the expansion, Mr. Bahuguna’s first task would be to nominate a new Speaker of the house where Congress is banking on the support of seven non-BJP MLAs.

The election of the Speaker will be held on March 26, a day before the first session of the newly-constituted Assembly begins.

After the election of the Speaker, Mr. Bahuguna will have to face the crucial trust vote on the floor of the house.

In order to make the contest for the election of the Speaker more intense, BJP is also contemplating a move to field its own candidate to counter Congress especially after yesterday’s development when Dinesh Dhanai, an independent MLA from Tehri, was not inducted into the cabinet. Dhanai has now openly started opposing Mr. Bahuguna claiming that he was feeling cheated.

Another worry before Mr. Bahuguna is of continued boycott of a group of MLAs belonging to Harish Rawat. In yesterday’s swearing in ceremony, some of the 6-7 die-hard MLAs supporting Mr. Rawat were absent.

Mr. Bahuguna would also discuss the issue related to another rebel leader Harak Singh Rawat, who is understood to have struck a deal with the high command for getting a cabinet berth, the Congress leaders said.

Congress is yet to decide whether Harak Singh Rawat, who was the leader of the opposition in the previous Assembly, would be given the post of Deputy CM. In this regard, the date of the swearing-in ceremony of Mr. Rawat as the 11th Cabinet minister has not been decided.

On the other hand, it is also not clear whether Dhanai would be given any plum post after he was ignored as cabinet minister.

Besides this, Nav Prabhat, a Congress MLA from Vikasnagar and an N D Tiwari loyalist, is also sulking and he was not present in the Tuesday’s function.

Similarly, Kunwar Pranav Singh, an MLA from Khanpur, and Jaspur MLA Shailendra Mohan Singhal are also upset because they both were expecting cabinet berths after scoring a hattrick this time.

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