Alliance with PDF intact: Harish Rawat

The prolonged suspense over the fate of ruling Congress and PDF combine in Uttarakhand has finally come to an end with Chief Minister Harish Rawat asserting that the alliance with the seven-member conglomerate remains intact.

PTI| Updated: Jan 12, 2015, 17:15 PM IST

Dehradun: The prolonged suspense over the fate of ruling Congress and PDF combine in Uttarakhand has finally come to an end with Chief Minister Harish Rawat asserting that the alliance with the seven-member conglomerate remains intact.

After conclusion of a two-day meeting of the party's state unit chaired by AICC incharge of party affairs in the state Ambika Soni last evening, the Chief Minister said,"PDF remains an integral part of the government despite efforts by a section of partymen to break the combine."

Rawat also claimed that only a negligible minority within the party's state unit were in favour of breaking the alliance whereas an overwhelming 95 per cent of the party workers were in favour of continuing it.

Rawat's stand on the Congress-PDF alliance was endorsed by former party chief Yashpal Arya, who said the front had stood by the party through thick and thin.

"We got support of the seven PDF legislators when we needed it to form the government in Uttarakhand. We should respect this," he said.

The party had failed to muster a majority in the 2012 Assembly elections and existed on the prop of the seven-member PDF, a front consisting of BSP, UKD and Independent MLAs.

However, ever since the Congress's own tally in the 70-member state assembly rose from 32 to 35 after the assembly bypoll held in Uttarakhand last year and it no longer depended as heavily on the support of 7-member PDF as earlier for survival, isolated voices from within party ranks were heard from time to time demanding that PDF members in Rawat Cabinet be replaced by Congress' own MLAs.

However, whenever the issue was raised by a section of partymen, Chief Minister himself always said the alliance with the PDF would remain unaffected.

Currently there are five ministers from the PDF in Rawat's cabinet.

Though averse to? breaking the alliance with PDF, speculation is rife about the Chief Minister considering a cut-down in PDF's representation in his cabinet to pacify disgruntled elements in the party.