Sonia picks Bahuguna as Uttarakhand CM

Tehri Garhwal MP Vijay Bahuguna will be the next Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved his name,following days of muscle-flexing by senior leaders who were vying for the coveted post

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 13, 2012 12:16:13 am

Tehri Garhwal MP Vijay Bahuguna (65) will be the next Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved his name on Monday,following days of muscle-flexing by senior leaders who were vying for the coveted post.

Bahuguna,former Allahabad and Bombay High Court judge,is the son of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna and brother of UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Incidentally,he is the first cousin of outgoing CM B C Khanduri.

The announcement of Bahuguna as the next CM came from Congress leader and central observer for the state Ghulam Nabi Azad hours after Sonia had a meeting with the main contenders for the post,Union Minister Harish Rawat,MP Satpal Maharaj and Bahuguna. She was learnt to have given a dressing down to Maharaj and Rawat for indulging in blame game and factional fighting.

In his first reaction after his name was announced,Bahuguna said,“I will take all sections of the party along and there will be no break-up.” A second-term MP,Bahuguna has a long experience in politics. He handled his father’s campaign in 1971 and 1977.

“He is the least controversial politician in Uttarakhand. Our family has been totally committed to Soniaji and she knows our worth. He is very sober and extremely intelligent and has a good acumen to handle difficult political situations,” said Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Bahuguna’s choice came as a surprise to Congress leaders. Azad had earlier informed Sonia about a majority of MLAs supporting Rawat.

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