Rangasamy stakes claim to form govt

Chennai

Ending speculation over the BJP eyeing Chief Ministership in Puducherry, the party on Monday extended support to its senior partner All Indian NR Congress. Following this the AINRC leader N Rangasamy, a former Congressman, is set to be sworn in Chief Minister of the first NDA Government in the Union Territory.

The BJP had zero presence in the House for years, managed to get 6 of its candidates elected to the 30-member Legislative Assembly. Some were defectors from the Congress.

The AINRC has won in 10 seats, while another ally AIADMK lost all 5 the constituencies it contested. Even in the run-up to the elections, the BJP was reluctant to endorse Rangasamy as the Chief Ministerial candidate. It was keen on having a role in the selection of the Chief Minister post-elections.

While speculations were rife if the BJP would try to do a Manipur or Goa by weaning Independents, its Puducherry in-charge Nirmal Kumar Surana and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar put an end to it on Monday. They called on Rangasamy and extended support to him.

Later, in the evening, Rangasamy called on Lieutenant-Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan at Raj Nivas and submitted the letter of support of 16 legislators and staked claim to form the Government.

BJP leader A Namassivayam, who was among the defectors from the Congress, and newly-elected legislators, accompanied the Chief Minister-designate.

The Congress, which was in power until a few months ago before losing a vote of confidence, fared poorly winning just 2 of the 15 seats. Its ally DMK had a better strike rate bagging 6 seats. Surprisingly, 6 Independent candidates won the election.

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