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Dirty tricks being used against me: Congress MP Harish Rawat

Rawat described himself as a bargainer pitching for development of Uttarakhand, and said that some forces were using dirty tricks against him.

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Dirty tricks being used against me: Congress MP Harish Rawat
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With Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna meeting all dissident MLAs to find an amicable solution to the political standoff in the Congress party in the state, disillusioned party lawmaker Harish Rawat, described himself on Saturday as a bargainer pitching for development of the state, and added that some forces are using dirty tricks against him.

"If talks are focused on the fact that Congress becomes strong in Uttarakhand, then I am a bargainer. If talks within the party are for an amicable solution, and if talking to somebody helps in that context, then I am a bargainer. But if it is suggested that I am bargaining, then this is a fabrication and wrong. Then, it appears that dirty tricks are being used against me," said Rawat.

"I had talks with him (Vijay Bahuguna). I also wish that everything should be solved. But the dirty tricks, there are some forces who have earlier also cheated Uttarakhand. Congress would have formed the government in Uttarakhand in 2007; we would have won the elections. Today, the same forces, which want to keep Uttarakhand under its control, are behind all this," he added.

Bahuguna had earlier in the day expressed confidence about finding a respectable and acceptable solution to the ongoing political crisis in the state, and said the cabinet will tentatively be expanded on March 21.  

When asked about Rawat now bargaining with the Congress leadership after being denied the top post in Uttarakhand, Bahuguna said: "There is no bargaining. I don't know from where does these talks come from. I would not like to comment on it. He is a very senior leader and colleague. And even he knows what is possible and not."

"First of all, it is our responsibility that the government, which has been formed with the blessings of the people, becomes stable and fulfills all its promises that was given in the election manifesto. For that, I not only require the support of my Congress friends, but also the support of the BJP for development work," he added.  

The rebellion in Uttarakhand Congress is continuing even days after the party high command's decision to chose Vijay Bahuguna as the chief minister.

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.

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.

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