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Harish Rawat sworn in as Uttarakhand chief minister

Harish Rawat was on Saturday sworn in as the new Uttarakhand CM, succeeding Vijay Bahuguna, who was asked by the party to step down in a bid to boost its prospects ahead of the LS polls. Harish Rawat’s long journey to the CM’s chair |A rough road ahead for Rawat

india Updated: Feb 02, 2014 02:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Harish Rawat was sworn in as the eighth chief minister of Uttarakhand at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhawan on Saturday evening.

Along with Rawat, his 11 ministerial colleagues were also administered the oath of office by governor Aziz Qureshi.

The CM has repeated the 11-member cabinet headed by his predecessor Vijay Bahuguna who stepped down on Friday under pressure from the Congress party.

Rawat, who had opposed Bahuguna’s CM nomination in 2012, was brought in to salvage the ruling party’s image that suffered a dent owing to Bahuguna’s shoddy rehabilitation work after the last year’s flash floods in which about a 1,000 people died.

The ceremony went smoothly, unlike two years ago when Rawat’s supporters had protested during Bahuguna’s swearing-in function.

Read: A rough road ahead for Rawat

Rawat’s oath taking ceremony got delayed four hours because of the protest by the supporters of Congress MP Satpal Maharaj, who was against the party’s decision to make Rawat as the CM.

Indira Hridiyesh, a cabinet minister in the Bahuguna government and eyeing the post herself, also reportedly opposed the high command’s decision at the Congress legislature party meet.

After the party observers pacified the dissenting leaders, the Progressive Democratic Front (PDF), an ally of the Rawat government, demanded ministerial portfolios for some of its members, sources said.

PDF chairman Mantri Prasad Naithani is stated to be a protégé of Satpal Maharaj.

Rawat’s cabinet comprises Indira Hridiyesh, Yashpal Arya, Harak Singh Rawat, Surendra Singh Negi, Pritam Singh, Amrita Rawat, Dinesh Aggarawal, Mantri Prasad Naithani, Pritam Singh Panwar, Harish Chandra Durgapal and Surendra Rakesh.

Read: Harish Rawat’s long journey to the CM’s chair