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Puducherry Cabinet expansion: 5 ministers, including two from BJP, inducted in NDA

Image source: PTI

Lieutenant Governor Puducherry Tamilisai Soudararajan and CM N. Rangaswamy with BJP A Namassivyam, NR Congress K. Lakshminarayanan (2nd from left), Chandira Priyanga (L) of NR Congress (AINRC) and BJPs Sai Saravanan) during the Kumar ceremony (right) taking the oath of office by the Ministers of the Territories in Puducherry.

After completing more than a month of waiting for the formation of a cabinet, on Sunday five ministers, including two from the BJP, were inducted into the NDA cabinet headed by Chief Minister N. Rangasi. Namassivyam, K. Lakshminarayanan, S. Jakumar, Chandira Priyanga and A.K.Sai J. Saravan Kumar were sworn in as ministers by Lieutenant Governor of Tamilisai Sundarajan before Raj Niwas.

All ministers took an oath in the name of God. The event was attended by, among others, Chief Minister Rangasami.

Ministers’ portfolios were not disclosed. Lakshminarayanan, Jakumar and Priyanga represent AINRC’s Lead Partner, and Namassivyam and Sarawana Kumar represent his BJP ally.

This is the first time that a saffron batch is part of a ministry in a union territory.

During the exercise, a member woman became minister after a 41-year hiatus and Chandira Priyanga was sworn in.

Late Congress Leader Renuka Appadurai was the last female minister from Utah in 1980-83. And led a portfolio of educational programs in the coalition ministry headed by MDR Ramachandran (DMK).

After completing more than a month’s wait for the formation of a cabinet, Chief Minister N. Rangasami presented Soundararajan on June 23 with a list of members to be included in his ministry, which was subsequently approved by the president.

Although the AINRC-led NDA won the Assembly polls on April 6 in this union territory, the formation of the cabinet was delayed as the saffron party initially insisted on the position of Deputy CM, but later agreed to the post of Speaker of the Assembly.

Shortly after he led his alliance to victory, AINRC founder Rangasami was sworn in as chief minister on May 7, but no other cabinet member was sworn in.

Later on June 16, R Selwam of the BJP was elected speaker of the Puducherry Assembly.

The swearing-in ceremony took place at 2:30 pm in front of the Raj Niwas, the office and residence of the Lieutenant Governor.

The AINRC has won 10 segments out of 16 seats that it has contested in its campaign races and is leading the NDA here. The BJP annexed six of the nine seats it claimed.

The NDA enjoys the support of three designated members belonging to the BJP. The House has a total of 33 MLAs, including three designated ones.

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