Dehra Dun: With many claimants stalling the
choice of chief ministership in Uttarakhand, the ball was
today back in the court of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to take a
call as the party observers wrapped up their consultations
with Congress and independent MLAs on the leadership issue.
Deputed by the party high command, Congress General
Secretaries Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chaudhary Birendra Singh,
incharge of Congress affairs in the state, held separate talks
with each of the party`s 32 newly-elected MLAs here.
The two leaders also met two of the three independent
MLAs Mantri Prasad Naithani and Dinesh Dhanai--both Congress
rebels--as well as the lone Uttarakhand Kranti Dal legislator
Pritam Singh Panwar.
Harish Durgapal, an independent and another Congress
rebel from Lal Kuan, was not present due to marriage of his
son in Kumaon region.
"We held discussions with the newly-elected MLAs. Now, we
will brief party President Sonia Gandhi on the views of these
MLAs", said Azad adding the new leader would be choosen in a
day or two.
Later, Azad and Chaudhary returned to New Delhi.
Leader of the opposition Harak Singh Rawat, Union
Minister Harish Rawat, PCC chief Yashpal Arya and senior party
leaders Vijaya Bahuguna and Indira Hirdesh are among the
contenders for the CM`s post.
What has complicated the Congress` task of choosing the
CLP leader is the conflicting choices of the three
independents whose support is crucial for the party`s
formation of the government.
While Dhanai has openly rooted for Bahuguna as CM,
Naithani is on record as backing Satpal Maharaj while Durgapal
is backing Hirdesh.