All India NR Congress throws out Congress in Puducherry

Indo Asian News Service

Puducherry, May 13 (IANS) Forming a new party - the All India NR Congress (AINRC) - only two months back, N. Rangasamy was Friday all set to return to the chief minister's post in Puducherry.

In the process he spoilt the chances of the Congress to score a hat-trick of victories in the union territory.

The AINRC-AIADMK combine has won 20 seats in the 30-member house.

The AINRC, which was launched in February after Rangasamy parted ways with the Congress, contested 17 seats and shared the rest with alliance partners - AIADMK (10) and one each to the DMDK, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Communist Party of India (CPI).

The Congress won seven seats, its ally DMK two and the independent one seat.

The Congress had also contested in 17 seats, giving 10 seats to the DMK, two to the PMK and one to VCK.

Around 85 percent of the 810,214 voters exercised the democratic rights to elect 30 legislators out of 187 in the April 13 polls.

For Rangasamy, a 60-year-old bachelor, being at the helm of affairs in Puducherry is nothing new.

A former Congressman, Rangasamy was the chief minister of the union territory from 2001 to 2008.

A man of simple life style, the chief minister would surprise the people by touring his constituency on his two-wheeler.

Rangasamy is largely responsible for developing the infrastructure in Puducherry. One of his major achievements as chief minister was the provision of free education in government schools and the breakfast and mid-day meal scheme for poor school children.

In 2008, the Congress high command asked him to step down from the chief minister post owing to internal problems.

The party replaced Rangasamy with V. Vaithilingam.

Soon after forming his own party, Rangasamy entered into an alliance with the AIADMK.

According to party officials, Rangasamy plays tennis and has one elder brother N. Adikesavan.