All India NR Congress leader N Rangasamy was sworn in as the chief minister of Puducherry at a brief ceremony held at the Raj Nivas here on Friday and will lead a coalition government of Bharatiya Janata Party members in his cabinet.
While Karnataka is the lone southern state with the BJP in the ruling saddle, its induction in the UT cabinet allows the saffron party expand its footprint, vis-a-vis power in the region.
Incidentally, it fared well in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, where it won four assembly seats in the Dravidian heartland in the April 6 polls.
Union Minister of State for Home and BJP leader Kishan Reddy, who attended the swearing-in ceremony on Friday, told reporters that BJP and AINRC would have three ministers each and they would be sworn in over the next few days.
BJP's A Namassivayam, who was elected unanimously as the leader of the BJP legislature wing, is tipped to be deputy chief minister.
On Friday afternoon, Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Rangasamy, giving him his fourth stint in office of CM.
Rangasamy, the only legislator to be sworn-in today, took the oath in Tamil and in the name of God.
The swearing in of the other ministers belonging to the AINRC and BJP would be held in the next few days, AINRC party sources said.
Of the three BJP members in the cabinet, one would be deputy CM.
A BJP source told PTI that Namassivayam would be Rangasamy's deputy, in the first such instance of the UT having a deputy CM.
Six ministers are likely to be sworn in in the next couple of days and this would ultimately bring the strength of the Puducherry Ministry to seven, including Rangasamy.
AINRC won 10 seats and the BJP six in the 30-member house, giving them the simple majority to form government.
There are six independents elected to the House, who are by and large supporters of Rangasamy.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam emerged victorious from six segments of the 13 seats it contested.
The Congress fared poorly by annexing only two out of the 14 seats it contested.
Earlier, Chief Secretary Ashwin Kumar read out the Presidential notification appointing Rangasamy as the chief minister.
The ceremony, which began at 1.20 pm, lasted five minutes.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, who himself was sworn-in today, greeted Rangasamy.
In a tweet, he extended his hearty greetings to the AINRC leader and wished his government fufilled the UT people's desires and leads to its growth and development.