PUDUCHERRY: E Valsaraj the Congress MLA from the outlying region of Mahe put to rest all speculations of his shifting loyalties on account of his closeness to Chief minister N Rangasamy. While speaking during the debate on budget in the Assembly, he said his closeness to Rangasamy was personal and had nothing to do with his political commitment, which remained with the Congress. “My good personal relations with the CM developed when my mother passed away a few years back and the Chief Minister was the first to arrive in Mahe and stand by my side in my hour of grief. You know what a mother is for everyone of us and this gesture touched my heart,” Valsaraj told the Assembly. He reminded the House that he had been functioning as Congress MLA for 25 years and was the second-most senior member after V Vaithilingam, underlining that he was a hardcore Congressman.