Tamil Nadu

First NDA Cabinet to be sworn in on Sunday in Puducherry

A makeshift stage being erected near the Raj Nivas on Friday for the swearing-in ceremony of the Ministers.   | Photo Credit: KUMAR SS

The first NDA government in the Union Territory of Puducherry, led by Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, is set to be sworn in on Sunday after the list of the Council of Ministers received the Presidential assent on Friday.

The Cabinet will have A. Namassivayam and Sai Saravanan Kumar of the BJP and K. Lakshminarayanan, S. Chandira Priyanga and ‘Theni’ C. Djeacoumar of the All-India N.R. Congress.

Gazette order issued

Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar issued a gazette order republishing a notification from Govind Mohan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, declaring the Presidential assent for the appointment of the five nominees as Ministers from the date of their swearing in.

The swearing-in has been scheduled for 2.30 p.m. A make-shift pavilion is being put up to host the function in front of Raj Nivas.

Mr. Rangasamy submitted the list to Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on June 23. As per procedure, the Lt. Governor forwarded it to the Ministry of Home Affairs to obtain ratification from the President.

Apart from being the first NDA government in Puducherry, a largely Congress bastion which the AINRC-BJP-AIADMK alliance breached in the April 6 election, there are a few other stand-out aspects to Mr. Rangasamy’s Cabinet. It marks a record fourth stint as Chief Minister for Mr. Rangasamy, accommodates a woman after a gap of four decades, and strikes a balance between long-time loyalists and turncoats.

Longest delay

On the flip side, the swearing-in of the Cabinet on June 27, due to the differences over power-sharing between the BJP and the AINRC and the hospitalisation of the Chief Minister for COVID-19 treatment, also marks the longest delay of over seven weeks in constituting a Ministry since the declaration of results (on May 2).

Mr. Rangasamy will preside over the government in his fourth stint as Chief Minister. He was a Congress Chief Minister during 2001-2006 and 2006-08.

When he was ousted mid-term in 2008, he floated a break-away party and romped home in the 2011 election to return to the top post.

By picking Ms. Chandira Priyanga, the legislator from Nedungadu (SC) in Karaikal, Mr. Rangasamy has made a calibrated choice that restores gender representation to the Cabinet after over 40 years and accommodates a voice for the Karaikal region in governance

The daughter of the late M. Chandirakasu, veteran politician and former Agriculture Minister in the 2011 Rangasamy government, Ms. Chandira Priyanga is the first woman to sit at the high table of governance after the late Renuka Appadurai, the Congress leader who was the Education Minister in the 1980 DMK-Congress government. She is also the first woman from the Scheduled Castes in the Cabinet.

A balancing act

The composition of the Cabinet also represents a balancing of experience and new energy, newly arrived defectors and long-time party loyalists.

A. Namassivayam, who as PWD Minister was also second-in-command in the previous Congress government led by V. Narayanasamy before moving to the BJP, K. Lakshminarayanan, five-time Congress legislator and former Education Minister before he switched to the AINRC, and Mr. Djeacoumar, a former Local Administration Minister, bring vast experience to the table.

Mr. Saravanan Kumar, who is a first-timer, has been rewarded for his long game in building the BJP’s base in Oussudu (SC) — incidentally, he was also the only BJP leader not to lose his deposit when the party contested all 30 seats in 2016.

In 2021, the BJP begins an innings in the governance-legislative domain of the Union Territory with the Speakership, two Ministers, six elected legislators and three nominated MLAs, a clear two decades after its candidate A.M. Krishnamurthy became an MLA in 2001.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 8:50:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/first-nda-cabinet-to-be-sworn-in-on-sunday-in-puducherry/article34982483.ece

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