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Congress denies rift in party over Uttarakhand Chief Minister row

New Delhi, Tue, 13 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 13 (ANI): The Congress on Tuesday dismissed reports of split in the party after Vijay Bahuguna, the MP representing Tehri Garhwal, was named as chief minister-designate for Uttarakhand.


According to media reports, Congress leader Harish Rawat, one of the key chief ministerial contenders of the state, expressed discontent over not being appointed as the state chief.


However, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi played down the reports of a rift in the party.


"The workers and members of the party will have to agree with the decision of the High Command and the Congress party leadership," he said.


Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni also said the decision of the party should be acceptable to all.


"The party is capable of knowing the views of the public and choosing one person as the chief minister. The person who was supported by majority is been made the chief minister of India's northern Uttarakhand state. Definitely, there are certain displeasures among the supporters. However, since there is a fierce competition, considering the discipline in the party and the challenges, I hope that all the leaders and their supporters are with this decision," she said.


According to television and print media reports, Rawat has sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.


Rawat has also written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, saying that he would prefer to work as a party worker.


The Congress High Command on Monday evening selected Bahuguna to be the next chief minister of Uttarakhand.


A former Judge of the Allahabad and Bombay High Courts, Bahuguna is Vice-President of Uttarakhand unit of Congress and is a second-term MP representing Tehri Garhwal.


Hailing from a political family, Bahuguna's father was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and his sister Rita Bahuguna Joshi was till recently the President of the Uttar Pradesh Congress unit.


In the 70-member Assembly, Congress has 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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