Puducherry Cabinet assumes office

Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan administering the oath of office and secrecy to BJP Minister A. Namassivayam at the Raj Nivas in Puducherry on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

The five-member Council of Ministers of Puducherry's first NDA government, led by Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, was sworn-in on Sunday, 50 days after winning the Assembly election on April 6 to form the 15th Legislative Assembly. Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the Ministers.

A. Namassivayam (BJP), K. Lakshminarayanan, C. Djeacoumar and Chandirapriyanga (AINRC) and Sai Saravanan Kumar (BJP) were formally inducted in that order. All of them took the oath in the name of God.

Following the swearing-in, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy and the newly sworn-in Ministers felicitated the Lt. Governor. Ms. Soundararajan also felicitated the Chief Minister and his team.

This marks Mr. Rangasamy's record fourth term as Chief Minister of Puducherry — he was Congress Chief Minister in 2001-2006 and 2006-08. When he was ousted mid-term in 2008, he floated a break-away party, the All India NR Congress, and rode to power in the 2011 election to return to the CM's chair.

His Cabinet in the fourth stint as Chief Minister features a balance of veterans in Mr. Namassivayam, Mr. Lakshminarayanan and Mr. Djeacoumar and new faces in Ms Chandirapriyanga, the first woman Minister in 41 years, and Mr. Saravanan Kumar.

Earlier, the ceremony began at a makeshift pavilion in front of the Raj Nivas with the national anthem and the State song Vazhvinil Semmaiyai Seibaval Neeye (Tamizh Thai Vaazhthu). A readout of the Presidential notification of June 25 on the appointment of the five Ministers by Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar followed. L. Murugan, BJP president of Tamil Nadu was among the guests. Representatives from the Opposition were conspicuous by their absence.

The function was held amid tight security and restrictions on invitees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The swearing-in of the Cabinet comes seven weeks after the NDA alliance of AINRC-BJP-AIADMK came to power when the results of the April 6 Assembly election were announced on May 2.

While Mr. Rangasamy was sworn-in on May 7, the Cabinet formation hit a roadblock due to intense wrangling between the principal allies, the AINRC and the BJP, to find a mutually agreeable power-sharing arrangement. Mr. Rangasamy's hospitalisation for COVID-19 treatment in the second week of May froze all negotiations for a few weeks.

Eventually, with the prodding of the BJP national leadership, the allies hammered out an agreement wherein the BJP would forego its demand for the hitherto non-existent post of Deputy Chief Minister, and settle for the Speakership and two Ministerial berths while the AINRC would keep the Deputy Speaker post along with three Cabinet positions.

Even without the Deputy CM post, the BJP is making a remarkable entry into the legislative-governance sphere of the Union Territory with the Speakership, two Ministers, six elected legislators and three nominated MLAs. A remarkable place to be for a party which last had a token presence in the Assembly in 2001 with a sole elected MLA in A.M. Krishnamurthy.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 10:04:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/puducherry-cabinet-assumes-office/article35009206.ece

Next Story