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Feb 01, 2014 at 10:15pm IST

Harish Rawat named the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand

Dehradun: Union Minister and senior Congress leader Harish Rawat on Saturday was named as the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Rawat has replaced Vijay Bahuguna who was under fire for his non-performance.

Bahuguna had submitted his resignation to Governor Aziz Qureshi on Friday.

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The Uttarakhand unit of the Congress has been battling factionalism. Sources told CNN-IBN that a team of observers including senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni and Janardhan Dwivedi were sent to make the decision. The frontrunners for the top post in the hill state included Rawat and Uttarakhand Food and Civil Supplies Minister Preetam Singh.

Bahuguna has been under pressure ever since he was appointed. The flash floods that hit Uttarakhand in 2013 and the massive rescue and rehabilitation work they entailed also brought his leadership skills into question.

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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.