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N Rangasamy appointed Pondicherry CM

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 13, 2006 19:19 IST
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N Rangaswamy was on Saturday elected leader of the 10-member Congress Legislature Party in Pondicherry.

Coverage: Assembly Election 2006 | Results

He later met Lieutenant Governor M M Lakhera and formally staked his claim to form the next government in the Union Territory.

Rangasamy, who will be chief minister for a second successive time, handed over the letter electing him as Congress Legislature Party leader, Congress party sources said.

The Lt Governor will forward it to the Centre. Under the Union Territory Act, the President appoints the chief minister and council of ministers. Rangasamy had taken over the chief ministership for the first time in October 2001 from P Shanmugham, who had failed to fulfill the constitutional obligation of getting himself elected to the assembly within six months of assuming office. Shanmugham was unable to persuade any of the party's sitting legislators to resign to enable him to contest.

Rangasamy was accompanied to the Raj Niwas by All India Congress Committee treasurer Motilal Vohra, general secretary B K Hariprasad, secretary Sudhakar Reddy, Pradesh Congress President president P Shanmugham, former chief minister V Vaithilingam and Congress legislator V Narayanasamy.

The 10-member Congress Legislature party, which met on Saturday morning, had failed to reach a consensus on the choice of CLP leader and left the choice to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who chose Rangasamy for the post.

At a second meeting of Congress legislators late this afternoon, Rangasamy's name was proposed by Vaithilingam and seconded by health minister in the outgoing government E Valsraj. 

Earlier, armed with letters of support from its allies – Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Communist Party of India, the Congress had staked its claim to form a government in the Union Territory. Congress leaders accompanied, among others, by Shanmugham, Rangasamy, Pondicherry DMK chief R V Janakiraman, PMK state secretary Paneerselvam, All India CPI general council member and newly elected legislator R Vishwanathan, CPI state secretary N Kalainathan and Narayanasamy met the Lt Governor and handed over the letters.

The Congress with 10 legislators in the 30-member territorial assembly requires the support of six more to attain majority. The DMK, PMK and the CPI, which contested the polls in alliance with the Congress, had won seven, three and one seats respectively.

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