Lobbying on for vacant Uttarakhand cabinet berth | india | Hindustan Times
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Lobbying on for vacant Uttarakhand cabinet berth

india Updated: Apr 08, 2012 13:23 IST

Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna appears to have put his foot down in the face of intense lobbying by various party MLAs for the lone vacant cabinet berth in the state.

Congress sources said Bahuguna has not yet decided who should be given the cabinet berth since there are a lot of aspirants who want to become ministers in the hill state.

Harak Singh Rawat, Furkan Ahmed and Rajender Singh Bhandari are among the Congress MLAs who are angling for the cabinet berth.

Besides, Dinesh Dhanai, an independent legislator from Tehri, has also staked claim for the post.

"The decision regarding the filling of cabinet berths has to be taken by the chief minister in consultations with the party high command," said Suryakant Dhasmana.

But intense lobbying by these MLAs has failed to cut ice with the chief minister over the issue.

"The chief minister is happy with the present dispensation and he has not got any direction from the party high command to fill the remaining vacant cabinet berth," said a top Congress leader.

Union minister Harish Rawat, who was upset with the party high command earlier for not being considered for the post of chief minister, has asked Bahuguna not to ignore the interests of hilly areas in the cabinet formation.

Rawat told reporters that the representation of the hilly region was not enough in the cabinet.

Significantly, Rawat had earlier stated that Ahmed, who is a lone Muslim MLA in the state, should be given "more responsibilities" in the government.

Senior Congress leader Satpal Maharaj is lobbying for Bhandari, who recently joined Congress.

Bhandari was also a cabinet minister in the BJP government. There had also been a series of street rallies in Haridwar and other areas in support of Harak Singh Rawat with a group of Congress leaders demanding a cabinet berth for him.

Meanwhile, party sources said the party high command is now reviewing the political situation in the state after the government formation.