New Delhi/Dehra Dun: With a solution to the crisis in Uttarkhand continuing to elude the party, Congress on Saturday said rebel leader and Union Minister Harish Rawat will be given "his due" but ruled out changing Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.
The name of Rawat's wife is being considered for Rajya Sabha nomination for the lone vacant seat from the hill state, AICC general secretary Chaudhary Birender Singh told reporters in Delhi. March 19 is the last day for nominations.
Singh made it clear that the party high command was not thinking of having any Deputy Chief Minister at present amid reports that rebels were demanding two deputy CM posts, "The high command wants to give Rawat his due" he said, noting at the same time that Bahuguna was chosen Chief Minister after due consideration.
Singh said the names of senior MLA Indira Hridayesh, former MP Mahendra Pal and retiring member Satyavrat Chaturvedi are also being considered for the seat.
The party's central leadership continued to hold talks with the warring factions to defuse the five-day crisis confronting the new government even as Rawat rubbished media reports that he was offered the post of the Deputy Chief Minister.
Bahuguna, who faces the daunting task of winning trust vote on the floor of the state assembly in the wake of revolt against his leadership, told reporters in Dehra Dun earlier in the day that "talks are on" to defuse the crisis.
Rawat said he has not demanded any Rajya Sabha seat for his wife Renuka.
"All the reports that I demanded a Rajya Sabha seat for my wife are wrong," Rawat said in a statement issued by state Congress spokesman Surendra Kumar in Dehra Dun.
Such rumours are being spread under a conspiracy by some "dhankuber" [mafia elements] for their vested interests, he said.
Rawat said he has not demanded any Rajya Sabha seat or any post for his family members.
On his meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rawat said it was his responsibility to convey the sentiments of Congress workers to the party leaders.
"It is my responsibility to convey the sentiments our party workers to Sonia Gandhi," he added. He said he has also conveyed the "pain" of the party workers to Gandhi and that his talk with her was merely a request by a party worker to his leader. "During the talk, there was no mention of any demand like Rajya Sabha seat for my wife either or any member," the Union Minister said.
Harak Singh Rawat, an MLA and a close confidant of Rawat, an aspirant for the CM's post, denied media reports that he was being offered the post of the Deputy Chief Minister. On Friday, Bahuguna metGandhi and said he was confident of resolving all differences with Harish Rawat.
Fourteen party MLAs, said to be loyal to Harish Rawat who revolted against the appointment of Bahuguna as CM, are yet to take oath.