PUDUCHERRY: A day after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister, the photo of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was removed from Chief Minister N Rangasamy’s office. However, the photo of AICC president Sonia Gandhi remains on his office wall despite his party, the All India NR Congress (AINRC), having joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
His chamber has portraits of President Pranab Mukherjee, former Tamil Nadu chief minister and Congress leader K Kamaraj (whom he idolises) and Sonia. The portrait of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be put up once the official photograph is received, the CM’s office said.
Rangasamy came to power in 2011 floating his own party, the AINRC, after quitting the Congress, but he prevented the removal of the portrait of Sonia from the official chamber. The portrait was put up by the Congress government in 2001 when it came to power, with Rangasamy as chief minister. It raised eyebrows, as Rangasamy had defeated the Congress in the Assembly elections to come to power. But he maintained that he had great regard for Sonia. Since AINRC MLAs are predominantly Congress men except for a few new entrants into the political arena there is nothing to separate the two parties ideologically, only their rivalry at the local level. Rangasamy followed all the policies of the Congress government and never took a separate line, except at a later stage when he charged the UPA government with not providing adequate funds and expressed his disappointment with the direct benefit transfer. His rivalry with V Narayanasamy, former Union minister of State for the PMO, also led him to join hands with the BJP.
Rangasamy still remains hopeful of a ministeral berth for his party MP R Radhakrishnan in the BJP government led by Modi, and is reluctant to detach himself from his roots.