Speaker’s election: Bahuguna faces major test

Uttarakhand Congress Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna faces his first acid test on Monday when the election of Speaker will take place in the Assembly ahead of the trust vote.

Updated: Mar 26, 2012, 11:23 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Uttarakhand Congress Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna faces his first acid test on Monday when the election of Speaker will take place in the Assembly ahead of the trust vote.

After acquiescing to the demands of Union Minister Harish Rawat, Congress yesterday fielded his close confidant Govind Singh Kunjwal for the post of Speaker by filing nomination papers.

And to make the contest interesting, BJP too fielded party heavyweight Harbans Kapoor, a former speaker, to face Kunjwal in the contest in what is now being seen as the first trial of strength for Bahuguna.

Despite BJP jumping into the fray, Bahuguna remained confident and said Kunjwal would emerge victorious. "There was never any problem. All is well," an elated Bahuguna told reporters.
Rawat, who had sounded a revolt earlier, too landed at the Vidhan Sabha and stood by Bahuguna to give the message that there were no fissures in the ruling party.

Meanwhile, Mahendra Singh Mahra, another Rawat loyalist, is also set to become the Rajya Sabha member.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Indira Hridayesh, who is the only cabinet minister to get portfolio, also said Congress will win the election of Speaker comfortably.

Meanwhile, Bahguna said he would first prove his majority in the house before distributing rest of the portfolios among the remaining nine cabinet ministers.
"My first priority is to win the trust vote," said Bahuguna, who reached here yesterday from New Delhi after holding talks with the party’s central leadership to resolve various issues confronting his government.

It was reported that the Uttrakhand Chief Minister had discussed the issues related to distribution of portfolios among cabinet ministers with senior party leaders in New Delhi as most of the new cabinet ministers are eying plum departments like PWD, industry, power, tourism, irrigation, excise and forest.

After the Speaker’s election, Bahuguna will have to face the crucial trust vote in the floor of the newly constituted house, the first session of which has been convened by Governor Margaret Alva on March 27.

With PTI Input