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Uttarakhand row: Union minister Harish Rawat resigns

March 13, 2012 11:53 IST

Union minister Harish Rawat, who lost in the race for Uttarakhand chief ministership, is sulking and said to have resigned from the Union government. Rawat, minister of State for Agriculture and Parliamentary Affairs, sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress sources said.

"We can only confirm that the resignation has been sent," said a Congress leader close to Rawat.

The move comes after the the Congress High Command overlooked his claims for the Chief Minister's post which has gone to another MP Vijay Bahuguna.

This is the second time that Rawat's claim has been ignored as some 10 years back N D Tiwari was made the Chief Minister almost at the 11th hour by the party leadership.

When asked whether he was planning to resign, Rawat declined to confirm or deny. "I don't want to make any comment," Rawat told PTI. Rawat, representing Hardwar constituency, was a strong contender for the post.

Amid reports that Rawat had resigned, chief minister-designate Bahuguna said the party was ready to handle any kind of crisis. "This is a pressure tactic. We will handle it," said Bahuguna. The supporters of Rawat would boycott the swearing in ceremony of Bahuguna.

With Bahuguna coming under pressure, he would now take oath alone, his close aide Sabodh Unniyal, an MLA from Narendra Nagar said.  "Only Bahuguna ji will take the oath on Tuesday," he said.

"When the party was facing odds in the state assembly elections, the high command reposed confidence in Harish Rawat and once the results were out and it was time to make him as the chief minister of the state, the party officials cheated and made Vijay Bahuguna the chief minister of Uttrakhand. We are not going to tolerate this," said Nirmal Singh Rawat from Tehri Garwal.

(With inputs from PTI)

Onkar Singh in New Delhi

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