PUDUCHERRY: The three-time Chief minister and AINRC Founder President N Rangasamy was sworn in as the Chief minister of the Union territory of Puducherry on Friday.
The 71-year-old veteran leader who led the NDA to victory was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan at a function held at Raj Nivas.
Due to covid restrictions, only the elected MLAs, senior party functionaries, Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar and other government officials were present on the occasion.
Rangasamy is heading an NDA government of All India NR Congress (AINRC) and BJP, which has come to power for the first time in the UT.
The ministers comprising the AINRC and BJP members would be sworn in sometime next week, after the two parties mutually take the decision and the names are forwarded to Union Home Ministry for approval by the President. At present, the strength of the cabinet is six including the Chief minister .
But there is a move to enhance it to seven by including a Deputy Chief minister for the first time. After the ministers are sworn in, the government is likely to take a cabinet decision and forward a proposal in this regard to the Centre. “At present there is no post of Deputy Chief minister in the UT. Puducherry can have a Deputy Chief minister, if centre approves it,” said Rangasamy
Former PWD minister A Namassivayam who got elected on a BJP ticket is likely to get the post. Besides the Chief minister, the six posts of ministers are planned to be shared equally.
Rangasamy-led NDA government has a simple majority that enjoys the support of 16 members. In the 30-member House, it comprises 10 AINRC and six BJP MLAs. Besides there is the option for nominating three MLAs to the House by the Union Home Ministry.
The Opposition DMK has 6 members and Congress two, while there are six Independent members, a majority of whom are AINRC rebel candidates and owe allegiance to the party.
Rangasamy previously served as Chief Minister of Puducherry from 2001 to 2006 and then again from 2006 to 2008, both as a member of the Indian National Congress and then from 2011 to 2016 as a member of his own party All India N R Congress.
He is also the only person who holds the record of becoming the Chief Minister within three months of creating his own party in Puducherry.