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Uttarakand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna is finding it difficult to please his party legislators owing allegiance to different factions within the Uttarakhand Congress by distributing positions of chairpersons of various boards, corporations and other statutory bodies. It has been eight months that the Congress-led state government of Vijay Bahuguna is in the office but except a few, the Chief Minister has avoided giving such positions to party legislators and functionaries fearing backlash and more trouble for him.
Since taking over as Chief Minister, Vijay Bahuguna has announced that he is for giving limited number of such positions which are necessary. However, there has been pressure on him from different quarters to adjust legislators and other senior party functionaries. Different factions led by Union Minister Harish Rawat, Congress MP Satpal Maharaj and Harak Singh Rawat are demanding adjustment of their own supporters on such positions. Moreover, state party President Yashpal Arya wants that senior party functionaries who could not get party tickets for the state assembly polls be given such responsibilities.
The Sitarganj Assembly and Tehri Lok Sabha byelections delayed the decision by the Chief Minister and it was believed that he would take a decision by rewarding a few senior Congress legislators at Divali time.
According to Congress sources, five or six senior Congress legislators were to be given positions but it seems that the decisions has been deferred. The Chief Minister has now announced that since the party high command has not yet approved of the names, a decision could only be taken possibly after the Gujarat Assembly elections in December. He has also talked about the financial burden of such positions that he wanted to avoid.
But insiders believe that the pressure exerted by different factions has forced the party to defer the decision. The party wants to take cautious decision as during the previous Congress regime of N.D.Tewari, the wholesale distributions of such positions become a political issue leading to the downfall of the Congress government. Interestingly, the BJP government which exploited the issue and came to power in 2007 did the same by obliging its leaders. It is a fact that there are some positions that are necessary to fill for the effective functioning of the state government, including some statutory ones.
It would be seen that how much time Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna takes in taking a final call on the issue that would amount to opening a can of worms.


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