A ‘folks’s CM’ eyes scorching seat once more in Puducherry

N Rangasamy is unassuming and, some would argue, an uncommon politician. One can spot him in a neighbourhood snack bar, see him zip via his locality on his Yamaha motorbike and watch him play tennis at a playground nearly each morning.

In different phrases: he’s an oddity in a rustic the place most politicians roam with swagger, conceitedness and keep a secure distance from the frequent man, besides throughout elections.

Although he was Puducherry’s Chief Minister for 12 years, energy by no means went to Rangasamy’s head.

Recognized for his spartan way of life, the 72-year-old former Congressman is the chief of the All India NR Congress (AINRC), which he created after he broke away from his father or mother get together in a story that might be acquainted to those that observe politics.

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Rangasamy, together with his trademark outsized shirt, is nicknamed ‘Pudhuvai Kamarajar’ (Puducherry’s very personal Kamaraj), not simply because he plunged into politics impressed by the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, but in addition as a result of he leads a easy life. And like Kamaraj, he’s a bachelor.

How Rangasamy started sporting outsized shirts has an attention-grabbing again story. “Rangasamy had requested his tailor to sew him a shirt. I feel it was within the Eighties and the tailor’s title was Vinayagam. When he wore the shirt, Rangasamy was not very completely happy because it was unfastened. However a good friend informed him he regarded like Kamaraj and he started sporting that shirt. Relaxation is historical past,” Rangasamy’s shut aide tells DH.

However not a lot is understood about Rangasamy exterior the Union Territory and neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Born in 1950 to Panjali Ammal and Nadesan Krishnasamy, Rangasamy studied regulation and made his electoral debut in 1989 however tasted defeat by the hands of his ‘political guru’ V Pethaperumal.

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However he took revenge on his friend-turned-political foe by defeating Pethaperumal in 1991 from the Thattanchavady constituency and there was no trying again – Rangasamy has not misplaced an election since 1991.

He’s the primary chief minister from the Vanniyar group and earned the sobriquet ‘Makkal Mudhalvar’ (Individuals’s chief minister) for his pro-people initiatives like enhancing the previous age pension and offering breakfast to high school kids together with mid-day meals.

One other landmark initiative of Rangasamy is an schooling help scheme that allowed reimbursement of tuition charges of scholars enrolled in faculties beneath the federal government quota.

However all these qualities and public picture, Rangasamy is an enigma. He was accessible to most people however to not officers and his colleagues whereas in energy. His total Cupboard turned towards him in 2008 after being within the CM’s seat since 2001, resulting in his ouster. However the frequent man on the road nonetheless regarded as much as him.

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“Nobody can guess what’s on his thoughts. There are only some individuals who muster the braveness to inform him what is true and unsuitable. Even then it’s Rangasamy who decides whether or not to hear or to disregard,” one other aide of the AINRC chief says.

Rangasamy was a sufferer of the Congress’ acquainted weak spot: ignoring its mass leaders. Feeling insulted after being left excessive and dry by his get together, Rangasamy took a bet in February 2011 by launching AINRC, weeks earlier than Puducherry went to the polls.

The danger paid off as he led the AINRC to an emphatic win inside 48 days of its launch, taking candy revenge on his father or mother get together.

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However, Rangasamy thought folks’s sympathy would hold him in energy for eternity. In his final shot at energy (2011-2016), Rangasamy was accused of not delivering on his guarantees, delaying necessary recordsdata and never being accessible even to his Cupboard colleagues.

As his political inventory plummeted, Rangasamy aligned with the BJP in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, regardless of the latter missing any credible base within the UT. A shrewd politician, Rangasamy, who performed a vital position in destabilising the V Narayanasamy authorities, has made the BJP settle for him because the chief of the rainbow coalition for the April 6 elections.

Rangasamy believes his pro-people initiatives and his ‘public contact’ will put him firmly within the chief minister’s saddle for the fourth time. And since he believes in ‘divine intervention’, Rangaswamy started temple-hopping earlier than he launched his election work.

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