U’khand: Intense lobbying for vacant cabinet berth

Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna appears to have put his foot down in the face of intense lobbying by various party MLAs.

Dehra Dun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay
Bahuguna appears to have put his foot down in the face of
intense lobbying by various party MLAs for the lone vacant
cabinet berth in the state.

Congress sources said Bahuguna has not yet decided who
should be given the cabinet berth since there are a lot of
aspirants who want to become ministers in the hill state.

Harak Singh Rawat, Furkan Ahmed and Rajender Singh
Bhandari are among the Congress MLAs who are angling for the
cabinet berth.

Besides, Dinesh Dhanai, an independent legislator from
Tehri, has also staked claim for the post.
"The decision regarding the filling of cabinet berths has
to be taken by the chief minister in consultations with the
party high command," said Suryakant Dhasmana.

But intense lobbying by these MLAs has failed to cut ice
with the chief minister over the issue.

"The chief minister is happy with the present
dispensation and he has not got any direction from the party
high command to fill the remaining vacant cabinet berth," said
a top Congress leader.

Union minister Harish Rawat, who was upset with the party
high command earlier for not being considered for the post of
chief minister, has asked Bahuguna not to ignore the interests
of hilly areas in the cabinet formation.

Rawat told reporters that the representation of the hilly
region was not enough in the cabinet.
Significantly, Rawat had earlier stated that Ahmed, who
is a lone Muslim MLA in the state, should be given "more
responsibilities" in the government.

Senior Congress leader Satpal Maharaj is lobbying for
Bhandari, who recently joined Congress.

Bhandari was also a cabinet minister in the BJP
government. There had also been a series of street rallies in
Haridwar and other areas in support of Harak Singh Rawat with
a group of Congress leaders demanding a cabinet berth for him.

Meanwhile, party sources said the party high command is
now reviewing the political situation in the state after the
government formation.


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