Denied post thrice despite being a strong contender
Vijay Bahuguna’s performance during the floods that devastated the state drew severe criticism. In view of upcoming Lok Sabha polls,he is viewed as a liability.
New Delhi : The hill state of Uttarakhand is all set to get a new chief minister as the incumbent Vijay Bahuguna has stepped down following a decision by the Congress high command to effect a change of guard.
Bahuguna who hails from the political family of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna was hand-picked for the job in 2012 over the claims of union water resources minister Harish Rawat. Party sources claim that Rawat is a front runner to replace Bahuguna.
The outgoing chief minister’s performance during the floods last year that devastated the hill state has come in for severe criticism in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha since he is seen as a liability for the party. The state has five seats.
A three member team of senior party leaders comprising general secretaries Ambika Soni, Janardan Dwivedi and union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is scheduled to visit Dehradun on Saturday to find a successor.
Rawat has been a long time claimant for the post and even in 2002 when he was the state unit chief and the party had secured a majority he was side-stepped in favour of the veteran leader Narayan Dutt Tewari, Then the Congress lost the 2007 assembly elections, but even in 2012 when the party got 33 seats out of 70 and got the support of 7 others MLAs, Rawat was denied this post.
Even now though he is rated as the front runner, there are other strong contenders like Pritam Singh Rawat and Indira Hradayesh both ministers in the Bahuguna cabinet. Pritam Singh has the support of the anti-Harish faction in the party, whereas Indira is a loyalist of the senior leader N D Tewari.