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3 MLAs return, but crisis persists

india Updated: Mar 17, 2012 08:13 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times
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A-combination-picture-of-Harish-Rawat-and-Vijay-Bahuguna

Even as three more Congress legislators took oath in Uttarakhand on Friday, the political crisis triggered by a revolt over the appointment of Lok Sabha MP Vijay Bahuguna as the chief minister is far from over.

These legislators were part of the rebel group owing allegiance to Union minister Harish Rawat who raised a banner of revolt after the Congress high command denied him the CM's post.

A defiant Harish Rawat skipped the Lok Sabha on Friday when finance minister Pranab Mukherjee presented the budget.

"Whenever needed, I will go," was his refrain.

But 14 MLAs — Rawat loyalist — including former CLP leader Harak Singh Rawat, are camping in Delhi demanding that Bahuguna be replaced with Harish Rawat or any other legislator.

As the deadlock persisted, Bahuguna arrived in Delhi to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi. His immediate task is to save his government in the floor test on March 29.

But Harish Rawat has maintained that he will not be a cause of crisis for the party. "I will follow high command's orders."

The issue also came up for discussion at Friday's Congress core committee meeting. The party brass has so far stuck to its guns on the issue.

The central leadership had worked out a compromise formula according to which Harish Rawat was offered a cabinet berth, key portfolios to some of his loyalists and deputy CM’s post to Harak Singh Rawat. But he rejected the offer.