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Not backing anyone as my successor: Khanduri

June 23, 2009 19:38 IST
Outgoing Uttarakhand chief minister Bhuvan Chand Khanduri said that he was not backing anyone as his successor and at the meeting of the Members of Legislative Assembly the new CM would be elected.

He made this announcement at a crowded press conference at the Uttrakhand Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday.

He made this statement when asked if it was true that he would be backing State minister for Tourism and Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Pant as the next chief minister of the state.

He chose not to reply to a question whether or not he would prefer the new ruler from the MLAs or one from the outside.

"MLA's of the state would decide at a meeting to be held in New Delhi on Wednesday," he said.

In response to a query whether he would have a say in electing the new incumbent, Khanduri said that he was a member of the state assembly.

He tendered his resignation following meeting of the senior leaders of Bhartiya Janata Party at L K Advani's residence on Monday night following a directive from the party high command.

"I have tendered resignation owning responsibility for the defeat (in the Lok Sabha elections 2009). It is for others to decide whether they should resign following poor performance by the party," Khanduri said.

When promptly asked if he was referring to BJP President Rajnath Singh, he did not elaborate.

Khanduri claimed that the party has made substantial gains in the two years that he was in office. "I was one of those who fought for the creation of Uttrakhand. I went to jail. Whether I was punished for my honesty is for people like you to judge," he said.

While Khanduri and former CM Koshiyari deny that they are in contention for chief ministership, few are willing to buy their claims.

In addition to the names of Ramesh Pokhariyal and Prakash Pant, there is a chance that Bacchi Singh Rawat may be acceptable to both sides as a compromise candidate.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi