PUDUCHERRY: After over a month-and-a-half since Chief Minister N Rangasamy took the oath of office, the new Puducherry Cabinet is finally set to swear in on Sunday. This, after the CM handed over a list of five ministers to Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan at Raj Nivas on Wednesday.
“We have forwarded the list to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The inauguration ceremony will be held on June 27 after receiving approval from the President,” Soundararajan said in a statement.
The portfolios will be decided after the swearing-in ceremony, said the CM. It is to be noted that BJP’s leader in-charge of UT, Nirmal Kumar Surana, had voiced a similar opinion earlier this week. Sources said the House will be convened after ministers are inducted and the Deputy Speaker will be elected.
Among the five ministers, three are from the AINRC and the remaining from BJP, as per the agreement between the two parties. While BJP’s A Namassivayam, J Sai Saravana Kumar, and AINRC’s K Lakshminarayanan have made the cut, other names are yet to be known. It would be released only after the presidential assent.
Crisis solved by national leadership of saffron party
It was on May 7 that Rangasamy took charge as the first NDA Chief Minister of the Union Territory. However, due to a bitter tussle between the two allies over the post of Deputy Chief Minister, Speaker and other ministerial portfolios, a Cabinet could not be formed.
There was light at the end of the tunnel after intervention by the BJP's national leadership. Though the saffron party had demanded the Deputy CM post, it has dropped that push for now. They settled for the Speaker's post and two ministerial portfolios, while AINRC would have a Deputy Speaker and three ministers.
Following this, BJP’s Embalam R Selvam was sworn in as the Speaker of the Territorial Assembly on June 16. The AINRC has a strength of 10 MLAs, while the BJP has nine and the support of three Independent MLAs, in the 33-member Assembly (including three nominated MLAs).