Despite chief minister Vijay Bahuguna’s claim that sulking union minister Harish Rawat had come around, 11 legislators from the latter’s camp on Monday did not attend the nomination of Congress candidate MS Mehra for the Rajya Sabha poll.
Though Mehra is said to be confidant of Rawat, the legislators skipped the event, despite state Congress chief Yashpal Arya’s directive to all the party MLAs to be present in the Vidhan Sabha.
Polling for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarakhand is scheduled for March 30.
Sources in the Rawat camp said they were still seeking justice. “The responsibility to solve the crisis lies with the CM,” said Almora-Pithoragarh MP Pradeep Tamta, who attended Parliament with Rawat, the minister of state for agriculture, who had mounted a strong challenge for the CM post.
Earlier, pro tem speaker Shailendra Mohan Singhal administered oath of office and secrecy to three more Congress MLAs — Indra Hridyesh, Ganesh Godiyal and Madan Bisht.
Hridyesh, who was also in the race for CM post, could find a place in Bahuguna’s cabinet, which will be expanded on Tuesday.
The CM chalked out the size of his cabinet during the Congress legislative party meeting in the morning, said a source privy to the development. The probable list of ministers includes three independents, one each from BSP and Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, besides Hridyesh, Surendre Negi, Amrita Rawat, Govind Kunjwal, the source added.
Congress has 32 MLAs in the 70-member assembly and enjoys the support of eight other legislators. According to Congress insiders, Rawat supporters will get a major share in the cabinet.
Meanwhile, another sulking Congress MLA, Harak Singh, is camping in Delhi.