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Updated: March 26, 2012 13:23 IST

Bahuguna-Harish Rawat face-off peters out

Staff Correspondent
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Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna with Union Minister of State Harish Rawat in Dehradun on Sunday. Photo: Virender Singh Negi
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna with Union Minister of State Harish Rawat in Dehradun on Sunday. Photo: Virender Singh Negi

The standoff between Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Agriculture Harish Rawat seems to have settled down to a working relationship of sorts, with the latter marching into the chambers of Vidhan Sabha ProTem Speaker S.S. Singhal with 11 of his MLAs on Sunday. The MLAs took the oath.

Mr. Bahuguna, the former Leader of the Opposition, Harak Singh Rawat, Minister Indira Hirdeyesh and other leaders were present.

The nominated Anglo-Indian member, R.V. Gardner, who held this post during the earlier Congress tenure, also took the oath. With this, all the 70 MLAs plus one nominated member have taken the oath in the third Assembly.

The ruling Congress nominated the former Minister, Govind Singh Kunjwal, for the post of Speaker. He is pitted against the former Speaker, Harbans Kapoor, of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. Voting will be on Monday.

The 31 BJP MLAs, who had been taken on a pilgrimage to Ujjain and other areas fearing poaching by the Congress, will be present in the House from Monday, party insiders said.

Pradeep Tamta, the vociferous MP from Almora and a close associate of Mr. Rawat, said the Congress was as united as ever.

The thorny issues were sorted out by the party high command and the Bahuguna government would run successfully for the full term.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rawat, who represents Haridwar in the Lok Sabha and has been sulking ever since he was denied the top job in the State, on Saturday apologised to his constituents at Haridwar for having failed to become the Chief Minister.

This, observers felt, showed that the rift within the Congress continued and Mr. Bahuguna would have to do some tight rope walking to keep the flock together.

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