The first hint of political intrigue came about 10 days ago, when our friends in Delhi heard that a delegation of officials from Pondicherry would be arriving to visit the various ministries that week. Then two days ago, rumors began circulating in Pondicherry that the Chief Minister’s days may be numbered. Yesterday, The New Indian Express, Chennai edition‘s top story on the Puducherry page (page 3) ran the following story by Debjani Dutta: “Chief Minister faces troube from within.”
The article, which is not yet available online, is excerpted here:
Crisis is brewing in Puducherry Ministry with five ministers reportedly airing their grievances against Chief Minister N Rangasamy at ‘important power centres,’ aimed at removing him from the post.
All the five Ministers – V Vaithilingam [Industries & Power], E Valsaraj [Health], MOHF Shajahan [Education], Malladi Krishna Rao [Tourism] and M Kandasamy [Welfare] – are away from Puducherry since Thursday and they have reportedly started lobbying against the Chief Minister.
One of the complaints levelled against Rangasamy has been that he was concentrating more on his constituency. [i.e. Did not spread the pork or the attendant fat that comes with it.]
Moreover, the Ministers accused Rangasamy of autocratic functioning, while dealing with policies and decisions.
Another sore point has been the paucity of funds due to the alleged ‘improper’ financial management, which resulted in non-implementation of schemes announced in the Budget. The Ministers felt that they were not getting due ‘respect.’ [i.e Their “share.”]
Though Rangasamy has made a move to pacify the Ministers and the MLAs [Members of the Legislative Assembly], by approving several projects in Yanam as sought by Malladi Krishna Rao, purchase of polyester clothes for distribution to the poor as sought by Kandasamy, assigning the post of Government Whip to P Angalan, it turned out to be a futile exercise.
Now, the party members loyal to Narayanasamy [Rajya Sabha member and lead protagonist in this battle for power] and the Ministers are confident that their grievances against Rangasamy would be dealt appropriately by the party high command. Whether Rangasamy can set right things and continue as the CM or not, will unfold in the days to come.
Time will tell whether a change will occur, and whether that change will be good or bad for the future development of Pondicherry. Already, corruption, favoritism and negligence have taken an incredible (perhaps irreversible) toll on the environment, cityscape, and quality of life in Pondicherry.