Bahuguna to seek Sonia`s help to stem crisis

With the four-day old Congress government in Uttarakhand facing a severe crisis, embattled Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna rushed to Delhi to seek party chief Sonia Gandhi`s intervention.

Updated: Mar 16, 2012, 18:09 PM IST

Dehra Dun: With the four-day old Congress
government in Uttarakhand facing a severe crisis, embattled
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Friday rushed to Delhi to seek
party chief Sonia Gandhi`s intervention.

His plans to meet Gandhi came a day after 17 Congress
MLAs, mostly loyalists of Union Minister Harish Rawat, refused
to take oath in the state Assembly to register their protest
against choice of Bahuguna for the top post.

Senior party leaders Harak Singh Rawat and Indira
Hridayesh were also absent. They too are understood to have
given their support to Rawat.

In the 70-member Assembly, Congress has 32 MLAs and with
the help of three Independents and as many MLAs from BSP,
besides the lone UKD member, the party attained a majority of
39 to form the government.

The ministry formation was delayed due to internal feud
in the ruling party as different factions favoured their own
candidate.

After days of suspense, Bahuguna took oath on Tuesday but
it left Rawat and his supporters sulking.

During his stay in Delhi, Bahuguna is expected to request
Gandhi to resolve the crisis in the state Congress, a party
MLA close to Bahuguna said.

"There are lot of issues which need to be discussed with
the party high command, which included the election of the
Speaker and choice of candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha seat
where election is due on March 30," he said.

Bahuguna, who took oath alone, will have to prove his
majority on the floor of the House which will meet for the
first time from March 26.

Despite all odds, Bahuguna has been maintaining that his
government would win the trust vote and complete its full
term.

"We have a majority in the House. All the 39 MLAs have
given letter of support to the Governor. We will comfortably
win the trust vote and provide a strong and effective
government," Bahuguna told reporters here before leaving for
the national capital where he is also likely to meet Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss development plans.

Meanwhile, party sources said PCC chief Yashpal Arya is
likely to be the next Speaker.

"In all probability, it is going to be Arya because he
was Speaker during the previous Congress government also," a
top Congress leader said.

The election of the Speaker will be held on March 26.

PTI