All India NR Congress founder N Rangasamy, whose party made a stunning electoral debut in alliance with AIADMK to dethrone his former party Congress in the assembly elections, is likely to be sworn in as Puducherry Chief Minister on Monday.
However, there is no clarity as yet on whether 61-year old Rangasamy would head a coalition government or not. AINRC had won 15 seats and the AIADMK five in the 30-member Assembly.
Two-time Chief Minister Rangasamy returns to power nearly three years after he was unceremoniously removed by Congress high command following a revolt by his cabinet colleagues.
Rangasamy, who took sweet revenge on Congress by storming to power after floating the party on the eve of polls, today called on Lt Governor Iqbal Singh and staked his claim to form government soon after he was elected leader of the AINRC Legislature Party.
Accompanied by party MLAs, Rangasamy met Singh at Raj Nivas and handed over the letter signed by the legislators electing him as their leader. Independent MLA V M C Sivakumar who also accompanied Rangasamy gave a letter extending support to the AINRC, officials said.
With the support of Sivakumar, a rebel DMK man, the AINRC would command a simple majority of 16 in the 30-member House.
Though Rangasamy said the date of swearing in would be announced later, official sources said that he was likely to take the oath on Monday.
Being a Union Territory, the Lt Governor has forwarded Rangasamy's letter staking claim to form government to the Union Home Ministry for clearance, the sources said but added it was only a formality and the swearing in was likely to take place around 3 pm on Monday.
Rangasamy was evasive to questions by reporters whether it would be single party rule by AINRC or a coalition with the AIADMK sharing power.
"We will form the government with the full support of the AIADMK," he said but did not elaborate.
Rangasamy, who won from both seats he contested, said his government would fulfill all promises made in the AINRC manifesto. The special component plan meant for the Scheduled Castes would be implemented in letter and spirit.
Rangasamy thanked AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, who had named him chief ministerial candidate of the front during the campaign itself, and leaders of other allies who had put in hard work for the impressive victory of the combine.
Nicknamed "Junior Kamaraj" for his simple living, Rangasamy used to ride a bike rather than travelling in a car even when he was the Chief Minister and was credited with launching a slew of developmental projects and free breakfast scheme for school children in Puducherry during his seven-year stint at the helm.