All India NR Congress founder N Rangasamy, whose party made a stunning electoral debut in alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 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 returned to power nearly three years after he was unceremoniously removed by the 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, on Sunday called on Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh and staked his claim to form the 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 Member of Legislative Assmebly 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 told PTI that he was likely to take the oath on Monday.
Being a Union Territory, the Lieutenant Governor has forwarded Rangasamy's letter staking claim to form government to the Union home ministry for clearance, the sources said, but added that 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 on whether it would be single party rule by AINRC or a coalition government 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 fulfil all promises made in the AINRC manifesto.
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 when he was the chief minister. He 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.
Rangasamy said all the schemes he had introduced during his previous tenures were either abandoned or put on hold by the administration between 2008 and 2011. These would be revived and implemented speedily, he said.