Puducherry Cabinet formation drags on

Internal dynamics within the AINRC and BJP as well as the latter’s delay in giving its list of nominees, have delayed the Cabinet formation in the Union Territory

More than a month after the All India N-R Congress led National Democratic Alliance formed the government in Puducherry, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy has been unable to form the cabinet due to a multitude of factors.

If in the initial stages, the delay was owing to AINRC’s ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s adamant stand on obtaining the Deputy Chief Minister’s post and insistence on more than two cabinet berths, the issue now has more or less narrowed down to the internal dynamics within the AINRC and BJP.

After the BJP decided to settle for the Speaker’s post and two ministerial berths with the Home portfolio being one, the Chief Minister had asked for the names of BJP nominees in the cabinet, but according to senior AINRC functionaries the national party is yet to come out with the list.

Though the party had confirmed the name of A. Namassivayam, it is yet to choose the second probable with a strong lobby within pitching for a party old-hand instead of giving the berth to another turncoat. “We are yet to decide on the second name as two views have emerged. One giving the berth to a new entrant and the other to recognise the work of a long-term loyalist. The party high command has been briefed and a decision will be taken in a day or two,” said a senior BJP functionary.

The AINRC was also confronted with a problem of plenty with several claimants for three cabinet berths which the party has as part of the deal with the BJP. “Our composition will be much dependent on the second name the BJP proposes for the cabinet berth. Though we have many probables, our list will be ready within minutes after BJP submits the names. The issues within AINRC are minor and they will be sorted out,” said an AINRC leader.

Both the parties have also failed to arrive at a decision on sharing of portfolios except for Home. “The BJP is insisting on arriving at an agreement on the portfolios before the swearing-in of the Ministers. They wanted an assurance on certain key portfolios,” said the functionary.

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