Cong stakes claim, CM not final yet | india | Hindustan Times
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Cong stakes claim, CM not final yet

india Updated: Mar 10, 2012 02:29 IST
Anupam Trivedi

The Congress, which has one seat more than the BJP in Uttarakhand, has staked claim to form the next government.

A party delegation headed by Birender Singh, general secretary and in-charge of Uttarakhand affairs, called on governor Margret Alva at Raj Bhawan on Friday with three independents and a UKD legislator, who confirmed their support to the Congress.

The front-runners for chief ministership are Union minister of state for agriculture Harish Rawat, Uttarakhand Congress president Yashpal Arya, outgoing leader of opposition Harak Rawat and Tehri MP Vijay Bahuguna.

The Congress has 32 MLAs in the house of 70 and it needs 36 to form the government.

The party delegation gave the governor a letter of support of the three independents - Harish Durgapal, Mantri Prasad Naithani and Dinesh Dhane - and the lone Uttarakhand Kranti Dal MLA, Preetam Panwar.

“All of them (legislators) have extended support for stability and transparency. I am hopeful three BSP legislators will also align with the secular government,” Singh said, adding the party would hold talks on the role of the independents in the new government.

Sources told HT all the three independents, who are Congress rebels, had reportedly been promised a cabinet berth.

Meanwhile, central observer Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is Union health minister, is expected to reach Dehradun on Friday and meet the newly elected legislators. A meeting will be held first in Dehradun and later in New Delhi to finalise the new leader of the Congress legislative party.