Factional fight has broken out in Uttarakhand Congress after the party decided to make MP Vijay Bahuguna, son of late leader Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, the next chief minister of Uttarakhand sidelining several senior leaders.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat, who was seen as a frontrunner for the chief minister’s post, has offered to resign from the Cabinet after Bahuguna was named as the chief minister-designate. According to sources Rawat has sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Rawat has also written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, saying that he would prefer to work as a party worker. He also said in his letter that he doesn’t plan to attend Parliament on Tuesday.
This is the second time that Rawat’s claim has been ignored as almost 10 years ago ND Tiwari was made the chief minister at the last moment by the party leadership.
Rawat, representing Hardwar constituency in the Lok Sabha, was a strong contender for the post.
Hailing from Almora in Uttarakhand, Rawat was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1980. He served as the president of Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee from 2000 to 2002 and is reportedly upset at being overlooked by the party high command. Rawat claims to have the support of at least 17 MLAs in Uttarakhand Assembly.
Soon after Bahuguna was named as Uttarakhand Chief Minister, factional feud came to the fore in Congress’ state unit with legislators close to Rawat protesting the move.
Raising slogans, angry supporters of Rawat, who gathered at his house in Dehradun on Monday night, wanted to know why he was ignored for the top slot and egged him to split the party.
In a bid to placate a sulking Rawat, Bahuguna, his sister and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi met the Union Minister at his residence.
Source: IBN Live