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Vijay Bahuguna named Uttarakhand chief minister

Monday March 12, 2012 10:45:29 PM, IANS

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New Delhi/Dehradun: After nearly a week of deadlock, Uttarakhand will get a chief minister with the Congress naming its Tehri-Garhwal MP Vijay Bahuguna as the leader of its legislative party.

Bahuguna's name was announced by party leader and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here.

"It was decided by the MLAs and all the party leaders that Vijay Bahuguna will be the chief minister," Azad announced.

He also recalled that the party MLAs had, in their meeting after the results were out, authorised Congress president Sonia Gandhi to name the chief minister.

Congress, with 32 seats in a house of 70, had staked its claim to form a government in the Himalayan state late last week after the results on March 6 threw up a hung assembly.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has 31 seats in the Uttarakhand assembly. The Congress has won the support of three Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs, apart from three independents and the lone MLA from the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal.

"A decision has been taken that Vijay Bahuguna will be the leader of the legislature party in Uttarkhand and the new chief minister," Azad said in the presence of Bahuguna and Congress general secretary Chaudhary Birender Singh, who is in charge of party affairs in Uttarakhand.

Soon after his name was declared for chief ministership, Bahuguna, 65, thanked Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.

"I will take all sections of the party along and there will be no break up,"

Bahuguna is the son of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna and brother of present Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna-Joshi.

He is a vice president in the Uttarakhand Congress unit. An advocate by profession, He has served as a judge of the Allahabad and Bombay High Courts. He also served as the vice chairman of the Uttarakhand Planning Commission.

The decision comes a day after Union Minister from the state Harish Rawat and Bahuguna held a two-hour meeting with Azad and Birender Singh.

The two central leaders had submitted their report on the views of the party's 32 MLAs on legislative party leadership to Sonia Gandhi Sunday.





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President Pratibha Patil (in white sari) being ceremonially escorted for her address to a joint sitting of parliament on the opening day of the budget session on Monday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is at left. Vice President Hamid Ansari is at the right, while Lok Sabha speaker is second from right.

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