Dehradun: Congress leader Harish Rawat was today sworn in as Uttarakhand's eighth Chief Minister. He succeeds Vijay Bahuguna who was asked by the Congress high command to step down as part of the organizational revamp being undertaken by the party leadership ahead of the national elections, due by May this year.
Mr Rawat was administered the oath of office by Governor Aziz Qureshi along with a 11-member Cabinet all of whom were ministers in the previous Bahuguna government.
Mr Rawat, 65, was earlier elected the Congress Legislature Party leader in Uttarakhand after approval from party president Sonia Gandhi.
Mr Rawat is currently the Union Minister for Water Resources.
Spelling out his priorities, Mr Rawat said it would be definitely to pull the state out of the fallout of the catastrophic flash floods which struck Uttarakhand in June last year.
Mr Bahuguna, who resigned yesterday, was reportedly under pressure from his party, the Congress, to accept responsibility for the shoddy rehabilitation work carried out by his government after the floods in which nearly a thousand people died, and another 4000 reported missing.