Dehradun/New Delhi: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna will on Tuesday expand his Cabinet amid efforts by the party’s central leadership to mollify Harish Rawat, who has been upset ever since he was ignored for the CM’s post.
As part of the compromise formula being worked out, the Congress nominated Mahendra Singh Mahra, a close aide of Rawat, for the lone Rajya Sabha seat that goes to polls from the state. Mahra filed his nomination papers yesterday.
The efforts to save the newly-formed government in Uttarakhand have gathered pace.
As part of today’s expansion, three Rawat loyalists will be given ministerial berths in the Cabinet.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has agreed to give Cabinet berths to Govind Singh Kunjwal, SS Negi and Pritam Singh, Congress sources said.
On Monday, three more Congress MLAs took oath raising their number to 21. Efforts were underway to persuade the remaining 11 party MLAs to take their oath. All 11 Rawat-supported MLAs failed to turn up at the state Assembly yesterday.
However, Harak Singh Rawat, a senior Congress leader, claimed from New Delhi, "the two key demands like creation of posts of two deputy CMs and a Cabinet berth in the Union government for Rawat have not been conceded by the high command".
Congress has a strength of 32 MLAs in the House of 70 banking heavily on the support of 7 non-BJP MLAs.
Talking to reporters, Bahuguna expressed confidence that he would prove his majority in the House. "All the MLAs are with us," said Bahuguna.