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Rawat meets Sonia, Mayawati

New Delhi,SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT:Hours after holding his first Cabinet meeting after being reinstated as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat flew to Delhi with all party MLAs in the State Assembly to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi to explain to her the sequence of events.

Immediately thereafter, he drove to Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s residence to thank her for her support: indeed, her announcement that her two MLAs would back the Congress in its floor test was the turning point in the trial of strength, with the other independents then agreeing to follow suit.

Early elections likely
Later, speaking to journalists, he said, “My first priority will be development that has been neglected in the last two months under President’s Rule.”

Mr. Rawat is unlikely to make any changes in his council of ministers; his goal, as he stated shortly after he was reinstated, is to call for elections this year instead of waiting till 2017.

Present at his meeting with Ms. Gandhi were the latter’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and general secretary in-charge of Uttarakhand Ambika Soni. Ms. Soni and senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had flown to Uttarakhand to help manage the crisis and oversee the crucial floor test that took place on Tuesday.

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