Congress MP Vijay Bahuguna, son of late leader Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, will be the next chief minister of Uttarakhand, the AICC announced on Monday ending days of suspense over the claimant to the top job in the hill state.
The announcement of the choice of 65-year Bahuguna name as the new Congress Legislature Party leader was made by AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was authorised by party MLAs to take a decision in the matter, chose Bahuguna after taking the views of party MPs and MLAs, Azad told reporters outside 10 Janpath, the residence of Gandhi, in New Delhi.
“The decision has been taken that Vijay Bahuguna will be the leader of the Legislature Party in Uttarkhand and the new chief minister”, he said in the presence of Bahuguna as well as AICC general secretary Birender Singh, in charge of party affairs in the state.
The choice of Bahuguna, a cousin of outgoing BJP chief minister BC Khanduri, was made by Gandhi after the party high command had grappled with the issue for days amid diverse pulls and pressures created by several claimants to the top post and demand by independent MLAs whose support is crucial to Congress’ securing majority and formation of government.
A former judge of the Allahabad and Bombay high courts, Bahuguna is vice-president of Uttarakhand unit of Congress and is a second-term MP representing Tehri Garhwal.
Hailing from a political family, Vijay’s father was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh long time back and his sister Rita Bahuguna Joshi is currently the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.
A beaming Bahuguna said he would take all sections of the party along with him and that “there will be no split”.
The party high command selected Bahuguna after indicating earlier in the day that the AICC had has not closed any option and even an MP can be considered for the top job in the state.