Five ministers inducted in NDA cabinet in Puducherry

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(Eds: adding details) Puducherry, June 27 (PTI): Ending the more than a month long suspense over cabinet formation, five ministers, including two from the BJP, were inducted in the Chief Minister N Rangasamy-led NDA cabinet on Sunday.

A Namassivayam, K Lakshminarayanan, C Djeacoumar, Chandira Priyanga and A K Sai J Saravana Kumar were sworn in as Ministers by Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan in front of the Raj Nivas.

All the Ministers took oath in the name of God.

Chief Minister Rangasamy, among others, was present on the occasion.

The portfolios of the ministers were not revealed.

Lakshminarayanan, Djeacoumar and Priyanga represent lead partner AINRC, while Namassivayam and Saravana Kumar are from its ally BJP.

This is the first time the saffron party is part of a Ministry in the Union Territory.

The exercise also saw a woman member become a minister after a 41 year gap, with Chandira Priyanga being sworn in.

Late Congress leader Renuka Appadurai was the last woman minister from the UT during 1980-83 and handled the Education portfolio in the M D R Ramachandran (DMK)-led coalition ministry.

Ending more than a month's suspense over cabinet formation, Chief Minister N Rangasamy on June 23 submitted the list of members to be included in his ministry, to Soundararajan, which was subsequently approved by the President.

Though the AINRC-led NDA had swept the April 6 Assembly polls in this union territory, cabinet formation dragged on for long as the saffron party initially insisted for a deputy CM post, but later settled for the post of the Assembly Speaker.

Soon after leading his alliance to a win, AINRC founder Rangasamy was sworn-in as Chief Minister on May 7 but no other cabinet member was sworn-in.

Later, BJP's 'Embalam' R Selvam was elected unopposed as Speaker of the Puducherry Assembly on June 16.

The swearing in ceremony was held at 2.30 PM in front of Raj Nivas, the office cum residence of the Lt Governor.

AINRC emerged victorious from 10 segments out of 16 seats it contested in the hustings and heads the NDA here. The BJP annexed six of the nine seats it contested.

The NDA enjoys the support of three nominated members belonging to the BJP.

The House has a total of 33 MLAs, including the three nominated ones. PTI COR APR SA ADMINISTRATOR SA ADMINISTRATOR

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