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Harish Rawat to replace Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna?

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harish-rawatThe Congress may replace Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna with Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat ahead of General Elections.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a meeting with senior party leaders on Wednesday morning to discuss the leadership change issue in a bid to boost the party’s prospects in Uttarakhand for the Lok Sabha polls.

Party general secretary Ambika Soni was present during the meeting besides senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Janardan Dwivedi and Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to the Congress chief.

After the meeting, party sources said that a decision on continuance or otherwise of Bahuguna as Chief Minister will be taken soon.

An AICC team will visit Dehradun in the first week of February to oversee the change of guard in the hilly state.

Bahuguna took over as the chief minister after the Congress emerged as the single largest party in elections to the state Assembly in March 2012.

Bahuguna has been under pressure ever since he was appointed. The flash floods that hit Uttarakhand last year and the massive rescue and rehabilitation work they entailed also brought his leadership skills into question.

Incidentally, delegations of MLAs and other Congress leaders from the State have been regularly meeting central party leaders in Delhi over the past six months to press for Bahuguna’s ouster.

The Congress, with 33 members in the Assembly, enjoys the support of the seven-member Progressive Democratic Front that comprises three independents, three members of the BSP and one MLA of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal. The remaining 30 MLAs are of the BJP.

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