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N D Tewari stays away from Congress plenary
Onkar Singh in Hyderabad | January 21, 2006 18:01 IST
Last Updated: January 21, 2006 20:22 IST
Uttaranchal Chief Minister N D Tewari's absence from the three-day Congress plenary session in Hyderabad has kicked up a row about the displeasure of the Congress party leadership with the ageing leader and his possible ouster as the chief minister of the state.
The chief minister's office in Dehradun claimed that Tewari was indisposed and hence he was not able to attend the session and the same had been conveyed to the Congress leadership in advance.
"Tewariji is indisposed and he has told the central leadership about his inability to travel to Hyderabad," a senior journalist-turned-politician said.
But his absence has given his arch-rival Harish Rawat to mount a campaign for the removal of Tewari in view of assembly elections in the state that are due in the later part of 2007.
Rawat when contacted refused to comment on the developments and claimed that he had nothing to do with them whatsoever.
"Moti Lal Vohra, general secretary in charge of Uttaranchal, told me that N D Tewari, chief minister of Uttranchal, had spoken to him five days back and had expressed his inability to travel to Hyderabad because of health reasons. Considering his age, we can understand his difficulty and hence, he has not travelled to Hyderabad to attend the session," Ambika Soni, general secretary, told the newsmen at a press conference at Rajiv Nagar.
When asked if Tewari had delibrately stayed away from the Congress plenary session as some of his suggestions had not been included by the party top brass as claimed by some of the delegates from the state, Soni said that she was not aware of any such development.
"I have already told you that Tewariji had spoken to Moti Lal Vohraji about his inability to come and we will not go beyond that. I am not sure which delegates from Uttaranchal you had spoken to during your meeting," she said.