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New Delhi, Mar 13 (ANI): Amid intense discussions and debate, the Congress Core Committee on Tuesday finally decided that Vijay Bahuguna, the Member of Parliament representing Tehri Garhwal, will take over as the next chief minister of Uttarakhand.

Bahuguna met the Congress High Command here today, and denied reports of a rift within the party over his selection for the top post in Uttarakhand.

Refusing a rethink on the issue as to who would be the chief ministerial candidate in Uttarakhand, the Congress has refused to respond to Union Minister Harish Rawat’s threat to resign and decided to go-ahead with the swearing-in ceremony of Bahuguna.

He further informed that the swearing-in-ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. today.

Bahuguna further said that only he would take the oath-of-office today, while his other colleagues would be sworn in the next three to four days after discussions with the senior party leaders and other allies.

Harish Rawat, who was seen as a frontrunner for the Uttarakhand chief minister’s post, had earlier offered to resign from the cabinet following Bahuguna’s selection for the top post.

According to reports, Rawat sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He had also written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, saying that he would prefer to work as a party worker.

The Congress High Command had on Monday evening selected Bahuguna to be the next chief minister of Uttarakhand.

A former Judge of the Allahabad and Bombay High Courts, Bahuguna is vice-president of Uttarakhand unit of Congress and is a second-term MP representing Tehri Garhwal.

Bahuguna hails from a political family. His father Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and his sister Rita Bahuguna Joshi was till recently the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress unit.

In the 70-member Assembly, Congress had emerged as the largest party with 32 MLAs and has the support of three independent MLAs and one from UKD. The Bahujan Samaj Party, having strength of three members, has pledged its unconditional support to Congress, raising its tally to 39. (ANI)

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