Dehra Dun: Having consolidated his position in the ruling Congress, Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna on Wednesday filed his nomination papers from Sitarganj Assembly constituency for which by-elections will be held on July 8.
As a show of strength, union minister Harish Rawat, a bete noire of Bahuguna, along with his supporters was also present during the filing of nomination papers. "Our best wishes are with Bahuguna," said Rawat.
Bahuguna reached the office of SDM of Sitarganj P C Dumka, the returning officer, and filed two sets of nomination papers. He was flanked by party in-charge of state affairs Chaudhary Birendra Singh, PCC chief and revenue minister Yashpal Arya, Pauri Garhwal MP Satpal Maharaj and other senior leaders. Chief Minister`s wife Sudha Bahuguna was also present.
Former BJP MLA Kiran Mandal, who had resigned last month to facilitate Bahuguna to enter the Vidhan Sabha, also accompanied the Chief Minister.
Though main opposition BJP is yet to declare its candidate against Bahuguna, former MLA Narayan Pal, who lost to Mandal as BSP candidate in recent Assembly elections, also announced his support to Congress brightening Bahuguna`s chances. BJP is expected to declare its candidate on June 16.
Later, addressing a public meeting at Ramlila ground in Sitarganj, Bahuguna said he would complete all announcements made by him for the people of Sitarganj and that the area would move fast on the path of development after his election to the Vidhan Sabha
Bahuguna, a non-MLA, during his visit to Sitarganj early this month had announced several new projects worth crores of rupees giving clear indications that he might contest Assembly by-elections from there.
Last month also, the government issued an order giving ownership rights to all those people who were leased out agriculture land at least 30 years ago apparently to provide benefit to a large number of Bengali settlers in Sitarganj.