Puducherry Cabinet formation delayed

A torn banner is seen in front the BJP office in Puducherry on June 19, 2021, as supporters of party MLA A. John Kumar staged a protest.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

More than a month after the All India N.R. Congress-led National Democratic Alliance formed the government in Puducherry, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy has been unable to form the Cabinet because of a multitude of factors.

If in the initial stages, the delay was owing to AINRC’s ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party insisting on having the Deputy Chief Minister’s post and insistence on more than two Cabinet berths, the issue now has more or less narrowed down to the internal dynamics within the AINRC and the BJP.

After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) decided to settle for the Speaker’s post and two berths with the Home portfolio being one of them, the Chief Minister had asked for the names of BJP nominees.

According to senior AINRC functionaries, the national party is yet to give the names.

As far as the BJP is concerned, although A. Namassivayam is certain to get the Cabinet berth, choosing the second candidate has become difficult with a strong lobby within the party pitching for an old hand instead of giving the berth to another new entrant.

“We are yet to decide on the second name as two views have emerged. While one view is for giving the berth to a new entrant, the other view is to recognise the work of a long-term loyalist. The party high command has been briefed and a decision will be taken in a day or two,” said a senior BJP functionary.

MLA’s supporters protest

Supporters of A. John Kumar, Kamaraj Nagar MLA, staged a protest on Saturday in front of the BJP office demanding a ministerial berth for him.

The protesters tried to enter the party office demanding a Cabinet berth for Mr. Kumar, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP, ahead of the Assembly election.

They were later pacified by the leadership.

The AINRC too is confronted with a problem of plenty with several claimants for three Cabinet berths.

“Our composition will depend on the second name the BJP proposes for the Cabinet berth. Although we have many probables, our list will be ready within minutes after the BJP submits the names. The issues within the AINRC are minor and they will be sorted out,” said an AINRC leader.

Both the parties have failed to arrive at a decision on sharing the portfolios except for Home.

“The BJP is insisting on arriving at an agreement on the portfolios before the swearing-in of Ministers. They wanted an assurance on certain key portfolios,” said the party functionary.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 12:10:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/puducherry-cabinet-formation-drags-on/article34857624.ece

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